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Cliistotcfe ^rees ISiitions 



POLITE CONVERSATION 



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POLITE CONVERSATION 
IN THREE DIALOGUES BY 
JONATHAN SWIFT WITH IN- 
TRODUCTION AND NOTES 
BY GEORGE SAINTSBURY 







■'■/OM' 



LONDON PRINTED AND ISSUED BY 
CHARLES WHITTINGHAM & CO AT 
THE CHISWICK PRESS MDCCCXCII 



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CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Editor's Introduction . vii 

Introduction to the Dialogues . 3 
Dialogue I. . . ... 53 

Dialogue II 127 

Dialogue III. . . . .173 

Illustrative Notes . . .191 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

In some ways nothing could be a better 
introduction to the " Polite Conversa- 
tion " than the account of it which Mr. 
Thackeray has given in his " English 
Humourists " (though under the head of 
Steele, not Swift), as illustrating the 
society of the period. That account is 
in its way not much less of a classic 
than the immortal original itself, and 
it is purely delightful. But it neither 
deals nor pretends to deal with the 
whole of the subject. Indeed, the idea 
of Swift's character which the " Con- 
versation " gives does not square alto- 
gether well with the view — true, but one- 
sided — which it suited Mr. Thackeray to 
take of Swift. 

The " Conversation " appeared very 



viii editor's introduction. 

late in Swift's life, and he himself derived 
no pecuniary benefit from it. He had, 
with that almost careless generosity 
which distinguished him side by side with 
an odd kind of parsimony, given the 
manuscript to a not particularly reputable 
prot^g^e of his, Mrs. Barber, about 1736, 
and its first edition — a copy of which, 
presented to me by my friend Mr. Austin 
Dobson no small number of years ago, 
is here reproduced — bears date 1738, 
and was published in London by Motte 
and Bathurst. The composition, how- 
ever, dates, as is known to a practical 
certainty, many years earlier. It is 
beyond any reasonable doubt identical 
with the " Essay on Conversation " which 
Swift noted as written or planned in 
1708-10. The nom de guerre on the title- 
page and to the introduction is Simon 
Wagstaff, one of the literary family of 
Staffs fathered by Swift and Steele 
in "Tatler" times. The manners are 
evidently those of Queen Anne's day, 
and the whole chronology of the in- 



editor's introduction. ix 

troduction (which, it will be seen, has 
all Swift's mock carefulness and exacti- 
tude) is adjusted to the fi rst decade of 
thp_pi ghtepnth century. A hundred 
years later Scott (whose own evident 
relish for the " Conversation " struggled 
somewhat with a desire to apologise for 
its coarseness to the decencies even of 
his own day), hazarded the opinion that 
the abundance of proverbial expressions 
must be set down to the Dean's own 
fancy, not to actual truth of reporting. 
It is always with great diffidence that I 
venture to differ with Sir Walter ; but I 
think he was wrong here. One piece of 
indirect evidence — the extreme energy 
with which Chesterfield, at no very dis- 
tant date from the publication, but after 
a lapse of fully a generation from the 
probable composition of the dialogues, 
inveighs against this very practice — - 
would seem to be sufficient to estab- 
lish its authenticity. For p olite society , 
where it s principles are not i^^s th'=-y g''°"F:- 
rallv— ar e, pretty constant, is never so 



X editor's introduction. 

bitter as against those practices which 
were the mode and are now ddmodisT 



But if anyone thinks this argument 
paradoxical, there are plenty more. The 
conversation of the immortal eight corre- 
sponds exactly to that of the comedies of 
the time, and the times just earlier, which 
were written by the finest gentlemen. It 
meets us, of course less brilliantly put, in 
the "Wentworth Papers" and other 
documents of the time; and its very faults 
are exactly those which Steele and Addi- 
son, like their predecessors of the other 
sex in the Hotel Rambouillet sixty or 
seventy years earlier, were, just when 
these dialogues were written, setting 
themselves to correct. We know, of 
course, that Swift moved in a world of 
middle and even not always upper middle 
s class society, as well as in the great 
' world ; and that, perhaps, at the date of 
\ the actual composition of this piece, he 
'iiad not reached his fullest familiarity 
with the latter. But I have myself very 
little doubt that the dialogues express 



editor's introduction. xi 

and were fully justified by the conversa- 
tion he had actually heard among the 
less decorous visitors at Temple's solemn 
board, in the livelier household of Lord 
Berkeley, in the circles of Ormond and 
PembroEeTantfTiuring- his first initiation 
aft er 1 707 1?! London society proper. How 
far he may have subsequently polished 
and altered the thing it is impossible to 
say ; that he had done so to some extent 
is obvious from such simple matters as 
the use of the word " king " instead of 
" queen," from the allusions to the 
"Craftsman," and others. I doubt 
whether the picture became substantially 
false till far into the reign of George IL, 
if it even became so then. 

There are those, of whom, as Mr. 
Wagstaff would himself say, " I have the 
honour to be one," who put the " Polite 
Conversation " in the very front rank of 
Swift's works. It is of course on a far 
less ambitious scale than " Gulliver ; " 
it has not the youthful audacity and 
towering aim of the " Tale of a Tub ; " 



xii EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. 

it lacks the practical and businesslike 
cogency of the " Drapier ; " the absolute 
perfection and unrivalled irony of the 
" Modest Proposal " and the " Argument 
against abolishing Christianity." But 
what it wants in relation to each of these 
masterpieces in some respects it makes 
up in others ; and it is distinctly the 
superior of its own nearest analogue, the 
" Directions to Servants." It is never 
unequal ; it never flags ; it never forces 
the note. Nobody, if he likes it at all, 
can think it too long ; nobody, however 
much he may like it, can fail to see that 
Swift was wise not to make it longer. 
One of its charms is the complete varia- 
tion between the introduction and the 
dialogues themselves. The former follows 
throughout, even to the rather unneces- 
sary striking in with literary quarrels, 
the true vein of Swiftian irony, where 
almost every sentence expresses _the 
exact contrary of the aiithQ£!s.r£al, senti- 
aimtSj^and where the putative writer is 
made to exhibit himself as ridiculous 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. xm 

while discoursing to his own complete 
satisfactio n. It exhibits also, although 
in a minor key, the peculiar pessimism 
which excites the shudders of some and 
the admiration of others in the great 
satires on humanity enumerated above. 

But the dialogues themselves are quite 
different. They are, with the exception 
of the lighter passages in the "Journal 
to Stella," infinitely the most good- 
natured things in Swift. T he charact ers 
are scarcely satirized ; they are hardly 
c aricatured JNo t one oTThem is made 
disagreeable, not one of them ofifensively 
ridiculous. Even poor Sir John Onger, 
despite the scarce concealed scorn and 
pity of his companions and the solemn 
compassion of good Mr. Wagstaff, is 
let off very easily. The very " scan- 
dal-mongering " has nothing of the 
ferocity of the " Plain Dealer " long ' 
before, and the " School for Scandal " 
long after it ; the excellent Ladies Smart 
and Answerall tear their neighbours' 
characters to pieces with much relish but 



xiv editor's introduction. 

with no malignity. The former, for all her 
cut-and-dried phrases, is an excellently- 
hospitable hostess, and " her own lord " 
is as different as possible from the brutal 
heroes of Restoration comedy, and from 
the yawning sour-blooded rakes of quality 
whom a later generation of painters in 
words and colours were to portray. 
There is, of course, not a little which 
would now be horribly coarse, but one 
knows that it was not in the least so 
then. And in it, as in the scandal- 
-mongering, there is no bad blood. Tom 
and the Colonel and Lord Sparkish are 
fine gentlemen with very loose-hung 
tongues, and not very strait-laced con- 
sciences. But there is nothing about 
them of the inhumanity which to some 
tastes spoils the heroes of Congreve and 
of Vanbrugh. 

As for " Miss," no doubt she says some 
things which it would be unpleasant to 
hear one's sister or one's beloved say now. 
But I fell in love with her when I was about 
seventeen, I think ; and from that day to 



EDITOR S INTRODUCTION. XV 

this I have never wavered for one minute 
in my affection for her. If she is of coarser 
mould than Millamant, how infinitely 
does she excel her in flesh and blood 
— excellent things in woman ! She is 
only here — " this 'Miss' of our heart, this 
' Miss ' of our soul," — here and in a letter 
or two of the time. The dramatists and 
the essayists and the poets made her 
a baggage or a Lydia Languish, a Miss 
Hoyden or a minx, when they tried her. 
Hogarth was not enough of a gentleman 
and Kneller not enough of a genius to 
put her on canvas. When the regular 
novelists began, sensibility had set its 
clutch on heroines. But here she is as 
Swift saw her — Swift whom every woman 
whom he knew either loved or hated, 
and who must, therefore, have known 
something about women, for all his per- 
sistent maltreatment of them. And here, 
as I have said, the maltreatment ceases. 
If the handling is not very delicate, it is 
utterly true, and by no means degrading. 
There is even dignity in Miss. For all her 



xvi editor's introduction. 

romps, and her broad speeches, and her 
more than risky repartees, she knows 
perfectly well how to pull up her some- 
what unpolished admirers when they go 
too far. And when at three o'clock in 
the morning, with most of the winnings 
in her pocket, she demurely refuses 
the Colonel's escort (indeed it might 
have had its dangers), observing, " No, 
Colonel, thank you ; my mamma has sent 
her chair and footmen," and leaves the 
room with the curtsey we can imagine, 
the picture is so delightful that unholy 
dreams come upon one. How agreeable 
it would have been to hire the always 
available villains, overcome those foot- 
men, put Miss in a coach and six, and 
secure the services of the also always 
available parson, regardless of the feelings 
of my mamma and of the swords of Tom 
and the Colonel, though not of Miss's 
own goodwill ! For I should not envy 
anyone who had tried to play otherwise 
than on the square with Miss Notable. 
For Mr. Wagstafif' s hero I have, as no 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. XVll 

doubt is natural, by no means as much 
admiration as for his " heroin." Mr. 
Thomas Neverout is a Hvely youth 
enough, but considerably farther from 
the idea — and that not merely the mo^' 
dern idea — of a gentleman, than Miss 
with all her astounding licence of speech 
is from the idea — and that not merely 
the modern idea — of a lady. It is ob- 
servable that he seldom or never gets 
the better of her except by mere coarse- 
ness, and that he has too frequent re- 
course to the expedient which even Mr. 
Wagstaff had the sense to see was not a 
great evidence of wit, the use of some 
innuendo or other, at which she is 
obliged to blush or to pretend want of 
understanding. At fair weapons she 
almostalways puts him down. In fact, the 
Colonel, though not precisely a genius, 
is the better fellow of the two. I do not 
know whether it was intentional or not, 
but it is to be observed that my Lord 
Sparkish, though quite as " smart " in 
the new-old sense of which this very 



xvill EDITORS INTRODUCTION. 

work is the locus dassicus, as the two 
commoners, is cleaner by a good deal in 
his language. It is unlike Mr. Wag- 
staff's usual precision of information 
that he gives us no details about Lady 
Answerall. If there is any indication to 
show whether she was wife or widow, I 
have missed it in many readings ; but I 
think she, though still young, was the 
eldest of the three ladies, and she cer- 
tainly was handsome. Lady Smart I take 
to have been plain, from her disparaging 
reference to Miss : " The girl's well enough 
if she had but another nose." I resent this 
reference to a feature which I am sure was 
charming (it was probably retroussi ; it 
was certainly not aquiline) ; and as Lady 
Smart was clearly not ill-natured, it fol- 
lows that she must have been herself 
either a recognized beauty or not beautiful. 
We should have had some intimation of 
the former had it been the case, so I in- 
cline to the latter. She had children, and 
was evidently on the best of terms with 
her husband, which is very satisfactory. 



EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION. xix 

If it were not for Miss and the dinner 
— two objects of perennial interest to all 
men of spirit and taste — I am not sure 
that I should not prefer the introduction 
to the conversations themselves. It is 
indispensable to the due understanding 
of the latter, and I cannot but think that - 
Thackeray unjustifiably overlooked the 
excuse it contains for the somewhat mis- 
cellaneous and Gargantuan character of 
the feast which excited his astonishment 
and horror. But it would be delightful 
in itself if we were so unfortunate as to 
have lost the conversations, and, as I 
have already said, its delight is of a 
strangely different kind from theirs. 
Although there are more magnificent 
and more terrible, more poignant and 
more whimsical examples of the mar- 
vellous Swiftian irony, I do not know that 
there is any more justly proportioned, 
more exquisitely modulated, more illus- 
trative of that wonderful keeping which 
is the very essence and quiddity of the 
Dean's humour. 



XX editor's introduction. 

Some things have been lately said, 
as they are always said from time 
to time, about the contrast between 
the Old humour and the New. The 
contrast, I venture to think, is wrongly 
stated. It is not a contrast between the 
old and the new, but, in the first place, 
between the perennial and the temporary, 
and in the second between two kinds of 
humour which, to do them justice, are both 
perennial enough — the humour which 
is quiet, subtle, abstracted, independent 
of catchwords and cant phrases, and the 
humour which is broad, loud, gesticula- 
tive, and prone to rely upon cant phrases 
and catchwords. Swift has illustrated 
the two in the two parts of this astonish- 
ing book, and whoso looks into the mat- 
ter a little narrowly will have no difficulty 
in finding this out. Far be it from me 
to depreciate the "newer" kind, but I 
may be permitted to think it the lower. 
It is certainly the easier. The perpetual ■■ 
stream of irony which Swift pours out 
here in so quiet yet so steady a flow, is 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. xxl 

the most difficult of all things to main- 
tain in its perfection. Not more, per- 
haps, than half-a-dozen writers in all 
literature, of whom the three chiefs are 
Lucian, Pascal, and Swift himself, have 
been quite masters of it, and of these 
three Swift is the mightiest. Sink below 
the requisite proportion of bitterness and 
the thing becomes flat ; exceed that pro- 
portion and it is nauseous. Perhaps, 
as one is always fain to persuade one- 
self in such cases, a distinct quality 
of palate is required to taste, as well as 
a distinct power of genius to brew it. It 
is certain that though there are some in 
all times who relish this kind of humour 
(and this is what gives it its supremacy, 
for examples of the other kind are, at 
other than their own times, frequently 
not relished by anybody), they are not 
often found in large numbers. The 
liquor is too dry for many tastes ; it has 
too little froth, if not too little sparkle 
for others. The order of architecture is 
too unadorned, depends too much upon 



xxii editor's introduction. 

the bare attraction of symmetry and 
form, to charm some eyes. But those 
who have the taste never lose it, never 
change it, never are weary of gratifying 
it. Of irony, as of hardly any other 
thing under the sun, cometh no satiety 
to the born ironist. 

It may be well to end this brief pre- 
face by a few words on the principles of 
editing which I have adopted. There is 
no omission whatever, except of a very 
few words — not, I think, half a score in 
all — which were barely permissible to 
mouths polite even then, and which now 
are almost banished from even free con- 
versation. Nor have even these omis- 
sions been allowed to mutilate the pas- 
sages in which they occur ; for on Mr. 
Wagstaff's own excellent principle, the 
harmless necessary "blank, which the 
sagacious reader may fill up in his own 
mind," has replaced them. 

In respect of annotation the methods 
of the collection in which this book ap- 
pears did not permit of any very exten- 



EDITORS INTRODUCTION. XXUl 

sive commentary ; and I could not be 
sorry for this. Anything like full scholia 
on the proverbs, catchwords, and so forth 
used, would be enormously voluminous, 
and a very dull overlaying of matter ill- 
sortable with dulness. Besides, much of 
the phraseology is intelligible to anybody 
intelligent, and not a very little is not 
yet obsolete in the mouths of persons of 
no particular originality. You may still 
hear men and women, not necessarily 
destitute either of birth, breeding, or 
sense, say of such a thing that " they 
like it, but it does not like them," that 
such another thing "comes from a hot 
place," with other innocent cliches of the 
kind. But in some places where assis- 
tance seemed really required I have en- 
deavoured to give it. Among such cases 
I have not included the attempt to iden- 
tify " the D. of R.," " the E. of E.," " Lord 
and Lady H.," etc. I am afraid it would 
be falling too much into the humour of 
good Mr. WagstafT himself to examine 
with the help of much Collins the various 



:X1V KDlTUKb 1JNTKUUU(-11UJN. 

)ersons whose initials and titles might 
)ossibly correspond with these during 
he nearly sixty years between Mr. Wag- 
taff's coming of age and the appearance 
)f his work at the Middle Temple Gate 
n Fleet Street. The persons named at 
iill length are generally, if not univer- 
lally real, and more or less well known, 
inough to inform or remind the reader 
)f these has, I hope, been inserted in the 
^Jotes. But the fact is, that, like most 
jreat writers, though not all, Swift is 
eally not in need of much annotation. 
[t is not that he is not allusive — I hardly 
enow any great writer who is not — but 
hat his allusions explain themselves to 
I reader of average intelligence quite 
sufficiently for the understanding of the 
;ontext, though not, it may be, suffi- 
:iently to enable him to "satisfy the 
examiners." It does not, for instance, 
natter in the least whether the "infa- 
nous Court chaplain," who taught the 
naids of honour not to believe in Hell 
ivas Hoadley, or who he was. His cap 



editor's introduction. XXV 

may even have fitted several persons at 
different times. In such a display of 
literary skill at arms as this the glitter 
of the blade and the swashing blow of 
its wielder are the points of interest, 
not the worthless carrion into which it 
was originally thrust. But " worthless 
carrion " is not Polite Conversation : so 
let me leave the reader to what is.' 

George Saintsbury. 



' The piece is on the whole fairly well printed ; 
but the speeches are sometimes wrongly as- 
signed. Attention is called to this in the notes ; 
but the real speaker is generally evident. 



A Complete 

COLLECTION 

Of Genteel and Ingenious 

CONVERSATION, 

According to the Moft 

Polite Mode and Method 

Now USED 

At COURT, and in the BEST 
COMPANIES of England. 

In THREE DIALOGUES. 
By SIMON fVAGSrjFF, E% 

LO ND O N: 

Printed for B. Motte, and C. Bathurst, at 
the Middle Temple-Gate in Fleet-Jireet. 

M.DCC.xxxvm. 



AN INTRODUCTION 

TO THE 

FOLLOWING TREATISE. 

As my Life hath been chiefly spent in 
consulting the Honour and Welfare of 
my Country for more than Forty Years 
past, not without answerable Success, if 
the World and my Friends have not 
flattered me ; so, there is no Point 
wherein I have so much labour'd, as that 
of improving and polishing all Parts of 
Conversation between Persons of Quality, 
whether they meet by Accident or In- 
vitation, at Meals, Tea, or Visits, Morn- 
ings, Noons, or Evenings. 

I have passed perhaps more time than 
any other Man of my Age and Country 
in Visits and Assemblees, where the 
polite Persons of both Sexes distinguish 
themselves ; and could not without much 
Grief observe how frequently both Gen- 
tlemen and Ladies are at a Loss for 



INTRODUCTION. 

)uestions, Answers, Replies and Re- 
Dinders : However, my Concern was 
luch abated, when I found that these 
)efects were not occasion'd by any 
Vant of Materials, but because those 
Materials were not in every Hand : For 
nstance, One Lady can give an Answer 
etter than ask a Question : One Gen- 
leman is happy at a Reply ; another 
xcels in a Rejoinder : One can revive a 
inguishing Conversation by a sudden 
urprizing Sentence ; another is more 
extrous in seconding ; a Third can fill 
he Gap with laughing, or commending 
^hat hath been said : Thus fresh Hints 
lay be started, and the Ball of Discourse 
ept up. 
But, alas ! this is too seldom the Case, 
ven in the most select Companies : How 
ften do we see at Court, at public 
''isiting-Days, at great Men's Levees, 
nd other Places of general Meeting, 
lat the Conversation falls and drops to 
othing, like a Fire without Supply of 
'uel ; this is what we ought to lament ; 
nd against this dangerous Evil I take 
pon me to affirm, that T h^vp in thp 
>llowin g Papers provided an infal lible 
leniedy. 



INTRODUCTION. 5 

It was in the Year 1695, and the Sixth 
of his late Majesty King William the 
Third, of ever glorious and immortal 
Memory, who rescued Three Kingdoms 
from Popery and Slavery ; when, being 
about the Age of Six-and-thirty, my 
Judgment mature, of good Reputation 
in the World, and well acquainted with 
the best Families in Town, I determined 
to spend Five Mornings, to dine Four 
times, pass Three Afternoons, and Six 
Evenings every Week, in the Houses of 
the most polite Families, of which I 
would confine myself to Fifty ; only 
changing as the Masters or Ladies died, 
or left the Town, or grew out of Vogue, 
or sunk in their Fortunes, (which to me 
was of the highest moment) or because 
disaffected to the Government ; which 
Practice I have followed ever since to 
this very Day ; except when I happened 
to be sick, or in the Spleen upon cloudy 
Weather ; and except when I entertained 
Four of each Sex at my own Lodgings 
once a Month, by way of Retaliation. 

I always kept a large Table-Book in 
my Pocket ; and as soon as I left the 
Company, I immediately entered the 
choicest Expressions that passed during 



6 INTRODUCTION. 

the Visit ; which, returning Home, I 
transcribed in a fair Hand, but some- 
what enlarged ; and had made the 
greatest Part of my Collection in Twelve 
Years, but not digested into any Method ; 
for this I found was a Work of infinite 
Labour, and what required the nicest 
Judgment, and consequently could not 
be brought to any Degree of Perfection 
in less than Sixteen Years more. 

Herein I resolved to exceed the Ad- 
vice of Horace, a Roman Poet, (which I 
have read in Mr. Creech's admirable 
Translation) That an Author should 
keep his Works Nine Years in his Closet, 
before he ventured to publish them ; and 
finding that I still received some addi- 
tional Flowers of Wit and Language, 
although in a very small Number, I 
determined to defer the Publication, to 
pursue my Design, and exhaust, if pos- 
sible, the whole Subject, that I might 
present a complete System to the World : 
For, I am convinced by long Experience, 
that the Critics will be as severe as their 
old Envy against me can make them : I 
foretel, they will object, that I have in- 
serted many Answers and Replies which 
are neither witty, humorous, polite, or 



INTRODUCTION. 7 

authentic ; and have omitted others, that 
would have been highly useful, as well as 
entertaining: But let them come to Par- 
ticulars, and I will boldly engage to con- 
fute their Malice. 

For these last Six or Seven Years I 
have not been able to add above Nine 
valuable Sentences to inrich my Collec- 
tion ; from whence I conclude, that what 
remains will amount only to a Trifle : 
However, if, after the Publication of this 
Work, any Lady or Gentleman, when 
they have read it, shall find the least 
thing of Importance omitted, I desire 
they will please to supply my Defects, 
by communicating to me their Dis- 
coveries ; and their Letters may be di- 
rected to Simon Wagstaff, Esq; at 
his Lodgings next Door to the Gloucester^ 
Head in St. Jameses-street, (they paying 
the Postage). In Return of which Fa- 
vour, I shall make honourable Mention 
of their Names in a short Preface to the 
Second Edition. 

In the mean time, I cannot but with 
some Pride, and much Pleasure, con- 
gratulate with my dear Country, which 
hath outdone all the Nations of Europe 
in advancing the whole Art of Conver- 



8 INTRODUCTION. 

sation to the greatest Height it is capable 
of reaching ; and therefore being intirely 
convinced that the Collection I now offer 
to the Public is full and complete, I may 
at the same time boldly affirm, that the 
whole Genius. Humour, Politene ss artd' 
Eloquence oi England axe. summed up in 
It :' JN o r is the "i'reasure small, wherein 
are to be found sfj least aXThousand 
1 shining Questions, AHsWersT^epartees, 
Replies and Rejoinders, fitted to adorn 
every kind of Discourse that an Assem- 
h\Q&oi English Ladies and Gentlemen, met 
together for their mutual Entertainment, 
can possibly want, especially when the 
several Flowers shall be set off and im- 
proved by the Speakers, with every Cir- 
cumstance of Preface and Circumlocu- 
tion, in proper Terms ; and attended 
with Praise, Laughter, or Admiration. 

There is a natural, involuntary Distor- 
tion of the Muscles, which is the ana- 
tomical Cause of Laughter : But there is 
another Cause of Laughter which De- 
cency requires, and is the undoubted 
Mark of a good Taste, as well as of a 
polite obliging Behavio ur; neither is this 
to be acquired without much Observa- 
tion, long Practice, and a sound Judg- 



INTRODUCTION. Q 

ment : I did therefore once intend, for 
the Ease of the Learner, to set down in 
all Parts of the following Dialogues cer- 
tain Marks, Asterisks, or Nota-bene's (in 
English, MarkweU's) after most Ques- 
tions, and every Reply or Answer ; di- 
recting exactly the Moment when One, 
Two, or All the Company are to laugh ;_ 
But having duly considered, that the 
Expedient would too much enlarge the 
Bulk of the Volume, and consequently 
the Price ; and likewise that something 
ought to be left for ingenious Readers to 
find out, I have determined to leave that 
whole Affair, although of great Impor- 
tance, to their own Discretion. 

The Readers rriust learn by all means 
to distinguish between Proverbs and 
those polite Speeches which beautify 
Conversation : For, as to the former, I 
utterly reject them out of all ingenious 
Discourse. I acknowledge indeed, that 
there may possibly be found in this 
Treatise a few Sayings, among so great 
a Number of smart Turns of Wit and 
Humour, as I have produced, which have 
a proverbial Air : However, I hope, it 
will be considered, that even these were 
not originally Proverbs, but the genuine 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

Productions of superior Wits, to embel- 
lish and support Conversation ; from 
whence, with great Impropriety, as well 
as Plagiarism (if you will forgive a hard 
Word) they have most injuriously been 
transferred into proverbial Maxims ; and 
therefore in Justice ought to be resumed 
out of vulgar Hands, to adorn the Draw- 
ing-Rooms of Princes, both Male and 
Female, the Levees of great Ministers, as 
well as the Toilet and Tea-table of the 
Ladies. 
\ I can faithfully assure the Reader, that 
there is not one single witty Phrase in 
this whole Collection, which hath n ot 
received the Sta mp gp'^ Apprrfba .tion or 
ai- }i^a9.f nn(^ hri ndred Years, and ho w 
j nuch longer, it is har d to determine : he 
may therefore be secure to find them all 
genuine, sterling, and authentic. 

But before this elaborate Treatise can 
become of universal Use and Ornament 
to my native Country, Two Points, that 
will require Time and much Application, 
are absolutely necessary. 

For, Ftrs(, whatever Person would 
aspire to be completely wittyj__snia£fcL. 
humourous, and polite, must by hard 
Labour be able to retain in his Memory 



INTRODUCTION. 1 1 

every single Sentence contained in this 
Work, so as never to be once at a Loss 
in applying the right Answers, Questions, 
Repartees, and the like, immediately, 
and without Study or Hesitation. 

And, Secondly, after a Lady or Gen- 
tleman hath so well overcome this Diffi- 
culty, as to be never at a Loss upon any 
Emergency, the true Management of 
every Feature, and almost of every Limb, 
is equally necessary ; without which an 
infinite Number of Absurdities will in- 
evitably ensue : For Instance, there is 
hardly a polite Sentence in the following 
Dialogues which doth not absolutely re- 
quire some peculiar graceful Motion in 
the Eyes, or Nose, or Mouth, or Fore- 
head, or Chin, or suitable Toss of the 
Head, with certain Offices assigned to 
each Hand ; and in Ladies, the whole 
Exercise of the Fan, fitted to the Energy 
of every Word they deliver ; by no 
means omitting the various Turns and 
Cadence of the Voice, the Twistings, and 
Movements, and different Postures of the 
Body, the several Kinds and Gradations 
of Laughter, which the Ladies must daily . 
practise by the Looking-Glass, and con- 
sult upon them with their Waiting-Maids. 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

My Readers will soon observe what a 
great Compass of real and useful Know- 
ledge this Science includes ; wherein, al- 
though Nature, assisted by a Genius, may 
bevery instrumental,yet a strong Memory 
and constant Application, together with 
Example and Precept, will be highly 
necessary : For these Reasons I have 
often wished, that certain Male and 
Female Instructors, perfectly versed in 
this science, would set up Schools for 
the Instruction of young Ladies and 
Gentlemen therein. 

I remember about thirty Years ago, 
there was a Bohemian Woman, of that 
Species commonly known by the name 
of Gypsies, who came over hither from 
France, and generally attended ISAAC 
the Dancing-Master when he was teach- 
ing his Art to Misses of Quality ; and 
while the young Ladies were thus em- 
ployed, the Bohemian, standing at some 
distance, but full in their Sight, acted 
before them all proper Airs, and turnings 
of the Head, and motions of the Hands, 
and twistings of the Body ; whereof you 
may still observe the good Effects in 
several of our elder Ladies. 

After the same manner, it were much 



INTRODUCTION. 1 3 

to be desired, that some expert Gentle- 
women gone to decay would set up pub- 
lick Schools, wherein young Girls of 
Quality, or great Fortunes, might first be 
taught to repeat this following System of 
Conversation, which I have been at so 
much pains to compile ; and then to 
adapt every Feature of their Counte- 
nances, every Turn of their Hands, every 
Screwing of their Bodies, every Exercise 
of their Fans, to the Humour of the 
Sentences they hear or deliver in Con- 
versation. But above all to instruct ■^ 
them in every Species and Degree of 
Laughing in the proper seasons at their 
own Wit, or that of the Company. And, 
if the Sons of the Nobility and Gentry, 
instead of being sent to common Schools, 
or put into the Hands of Tutors at Home, 
to learn nothing but Words, were con- 
signed to able Instructors in the same 
Art, I cannot find what Use there could 
be of Books, except in the hands of those 
who are to make Learning their TradeTl 
which is below the Dignity of Persons 
bom to Titles or Estates. 

It would be another infinite Advan- 
tage, that, by cultivating this Science, 
we should wholly avoid the Vexations 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

and Impertinence of Pedants, who affect 
to talk in a Language not to be under- 
stood ; and whenever a polite Person 
offers accidentally to use any of their 
Jargon-Terms, have the Presumption to 
laugh at Us for pronouncing those Words 
in a genteeler Manner. Whereas, I do 
here affirm, that, whenever any fine 
Gentleman or Lady condescends to let 
a hard Word pass out of their Mouths, 
every syllable is smoothed and polished 
in the Passage ; and it is a true Mark of 
Politeness, both in Writing and Reading, 
to vary the Orthography as well as the 
Sound ; because We ar e infinitely better 
J udges of what will please a distinguish- 
i ng ear than tho se, w ho call themselve s 
Scholars, can possibly be : wh o, con- 
sequently, ought to correct their Books, 
\ind Manner of pronouncing, by the 
Authority of Our Example, from whose 
lips they proceed with infinitely more 
Jeauty and Significancy. 
\ But, in the mean time, until so great, 
so useful, and so necessary a Design can 
be put in execution, (which, considering 
the good Disposition of our Country at 
present, I shall not despair of living to 
see) let me recommend the following 



INTRODUCTION. 1 5 

Treatise to be carried about as a Pocket- 
Companion, by all Gentlemen and Ladies, 
when they are going to visit, or dine, or 
drink Tea ; or where they happen to pass 
the Evening without Cards, (as I have 
sometimes known it to be the Case upon 
Disappointments or Accidents unfore- 
seen) desiring they would read their 
several Parts in their Chairs or Coaches, 
to prepare themselves for every kind of 
Conversation that can possibly happen. 

Although I have in Justice to my 
Country, allowed the Genius of our 
People to excel that of any other Nation 
upon Earth, and have confirmed this 
Truth by an Argument not to be con- 
trolled, I mean, by producing so great a 
Number of witty Sentences in the en- 
suing Dialogues, all of undoubted Au- 
thority, as well as of our own Produc- 
tion ; yet, I must confess at the same 
time, that we are wholly indebted for 
them to our Ancestors ; at least, for as 
long as my memory reachet h, I do not 
recollect o ne new Phrase of ImportaiicH' 
To have "Been added ; whictrDeiecTinTJs" 
McJdenis i-take-to have been occasioned 
by the Introduction of Cant- Words in 
the Reign of King Charles the Second. 



1 6 INTRODUCTION. 

And those have so often varied, that 
hardly one of them, of above a Year's 
standing, is now intelligible ; nor any- 
where to be found, excepting a small 
Number strewed here and there in the 
Comedies and other fantastick Writings 
of that Age. 

The Honourable Colonel JAMES Gra- 
ham, my old Friend and Companion, did 
likewise, towards the End of the same 
Reign, invent a Set of Words and 
Phrases, which continued almost to the 
Time of his Death. But, as those Terms 
of Art were adapted only to Courts and 
Politicians, and extended little further 
than among his particular Acquaintance 
(of whom I had the Honour to be one) 
they are now almost forgotten. 

Nor did the late D. of R and E. 

of E succeed much better, although 

they proceeded no further than single 
Words ; whereof, except Bite, Bamboozle, 
and one or two more, the whole Vocabu- 
lary is antiquated. 

The same Fate hath already attended 
those other Town-Wits, who furnish us 
with a great Variety of new Terms, which 
are annually changed, and those of the 
last Season sunk in Oblivion. Of these 



INTRODUCTION. 1/ 

I was once favoured with a compleat 
List by the Right Honourable the Lord 

and Lady H , with which I made a 

considerable Figure one Summer in the 
Country ; but returning up to Town in 
Winter, and venturing to produce them 
again, I was partly hooted, and partly 
not understood. 

The only Invention of late Years, 
which hath any way contributed towards^ 
Politeness in Discourse, is that of ab- 
breviating or reducing Words of many 
Syllables into one, by lopping off the 
rest. This Refinement, having begun 
about the Time of the Revolution, I had 
some Share in the Honour of prottloting~ 
it, and I observe, to my great Satisfac- 
tion, that it makes daily Advancements, 
and I hope in Time will raise our Lan- 
guage to the utmost Perfection ; although, 
I must confess, to avoid Obscurity, I 
have been very sparing of this Ornament 
in the following Dialogues. 

But, as for Phrases, invented to culti- 
vate Conversation, I defy all the Clubs 
of Coffee-houses in this town to invent a 
new one equal in Wit, Humour, Smart- 
ness, or Politeness, to the very worst of' 
my Set ; which clearly shews, either that 
C 



1 8 INTRODUCTION. 

we are much degenerated, or that the 
who le~3IocK of Materials hclLh been 
alr eady emplo vedT 1 woura"~wittrn'g:ly 
hope, as I doconfidently believe, the 
latter ; because, having my self, for seve- 
ral Months, racked my Invention (if 
possible) to enrich this Treasury with 
some Additions of my own (which, how- 
ever, should have been printed in a diffe- 
rent Character, that I might not be 
charged with imposing upon the Pub- 
lick) and having shewn them to some 
judicious Friends, they dealt very sin- 
cerely with me ; all unanimously agree- 
ing, that mine were infinitely below the 
true old Helps to Discourse, drawn up in 
my present Collection, and confirmed 
their Opinion with Reasons, by which I 
was perfectly convinced, as well as 
ashamed, of my great Presumption. 

But, I lately met a much stronger 
Argument to confirm me in the same 
Sentiments : For, as the great Bishop 
Burnet, of Salisbury, informs us in the 
Preface to his admirable History of his 
own Times, that he intended to employ 
himself in polishing it every Day of his 
Life, (and indeed in its Kind it is almost 
equally polished with this Work of mine :) 



INTRODUCTION. 19 

So, it hath been my constant Business, 
for some Years past, to examine, with 
the utmost Strictness, whether I could 
possibly find the smallest' Lapse in Style 
or Propriety through my whole Collec- 
tion, that, in Emulation with the Bishop, 
I might send it abroad as the most 
finished Piece of (he Age. 

It happened one Day as I was dining 
in good Company of both Sexes, and 
watching, according to my Custom, for 
new Materials wherewith to fill my 
Pocket-Book, I succeeded well enough 
till after Dinner, when the Ladies retired 
to their Tea, and left us over a Bottle of 
Wine. But I found we were not able to 
furnish any more Materials, that were 
worth the Pains of transcribing : For, the 
Discourse of the Company was all de- 
generated into smart Sayings of their 
own Invention, and not of the true old 
Standard ; so that, in absolute Despair^ 
I withdrew, and went to attend the 
Ladies at their Tea. From whence I 
did then conclude, and still continue to 
believe, either that Wine doth not in- 
spire Politeness, or that our Sex is not 
able to support it without the Com- 
pany of Women, who n ever fail to lead 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

^ US into the right Way, and there to 

, kdep us. 
' It much encreaseth the Value of these 
Apophthegms, that unto them we owe 
the Continuance of our Language, for at 
least an hundred Years ; neither is this 
to be wondered at ; because indeed, be- 
sides the Smartness of the Wit, and Fine- 
ness of the Raillery, such is the Propriety 
and Energy of Expression in them all, 
that they never can be changed, but to 
Disadvantage, except in the Circum- 
stance of using Abbreviations ; which, 
however, I do not despair, in due Time, 
to see introduced, having already met 
them at some of the Choice Companies 
in town. 

Although this Work be calculated for 
all Persons of Quality and Fortune of 
both Sexes ; yet the Reader may per- 
ceive, that my particular View was to 
the Officers of the Army, the Gentle- 
men of the Inns of Courts, and of 
Both the Universities ; to all Cour- 
tiers, Male and Female, but principally 
to the Maids of Honour, of whom I 
have been personally acquainted with 
two-and-twenty Sets, all excelling in this 
noble Endowment ; till for some Years 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

past, I know not how, they came to de- 
generate into Selling of BARGAINS, and 
Free-Thinking ; not that I am against 
either of these Entertainments at proper 
Seasons, in compliance with Company, 
who may want a Taste for more exalted 
Discourse, whose Memories may be short, 
who are too young to be perfect in their 
Lessons. Or (although it be hard to 
conceive) who have no Inclination to 
read and learn my Instructions. And 
besides, there is a strong Temptation for 
Court-Ladies to fall into the two Amuse- 
ments above-mentioned, that they may 
avoid the Censure of affecting Singu- 
larity, against the general Current and 
Fashion of all about them : But, how- 
ever, no Man will pretend to affirm, that 
either Bargains or Blasphemy, which 
are the principal Ornaments of Free- ^ 
Thinking, are so good a Fund of polite 
Discourse, as what is to be met with in 
my Collection. For, as to BARGAINS, 
few of them seem to be excellent in 
their kind, and have not much Variety, 
because they all terminate in one single 
Point ; and , to multiply thei B,-j«xuId re- 
qui re m ore Inventi on than Pe ople have 
to_s£areI~3rnd, as to BLASPHEirr'dr"' 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

Free-Thinking, I have known some 
scrupulous Persons, of both Sexes, who, 
by a prejudiced Education, are afraid of 
Sprights. I must, however, except the 
Maids of Honour, who have been fully 
convinced, by an infamous Court-Chap- 
lain, that there is no such Place as Hell. 
I cannot, indeed, controvert the Law- 
fulness of Free - Thinking, because 
it hath been universally allowed, that 
Thought is free. But, however, although 
^ it may afford a large Field of Matter ; 
yet in my poor Opinion, it seems to con- 
tain very little of Wit or Humour ; be- 
cause it h ath not been antient enough 
among us to furnish established authen- 
tick Expressions, 1 meart, sUCh as must 
receive a Sanction from the polite World, 
before their Authority can be allowed ; 
neither was the Art of BLASPHEMY or 
^T^ree-Thinking invented by the Court, 
or by Persons of great Quality, who, 
, properly speaking, were Patrons, rather 
Uthan Inventors of it ; but first brought 
\in by the Fanatick Faction, towards the 
end of their Power, and, after the Resto- 
ration, carried to Whitetiall by the con- 
verted Rumpers, w^h very good Reasons ; 
because they knewi that K. Charles the 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

Second, who, from a wrong Education, 
occasioned by the Troubles of his Father, 
had Time enough to observe, that 
Fanatick Enthusiasm directly led to 
Atheism, which agreed with the disso- 
lute Inclinations of his Youth ; and, per- 
haps, these Principles were farther culti- 
vated in him by the French Huguenots, 
who have been often charged with 
spreading them among us : However, I 
cannot see where the Necessity lies, of 
introducing new and foreign Topicks for 
Conversation, while we have so plentiful 
a Stock of our own Growth. 

I have likewise, for some Reasons of 
equal Weight, been very sparing in 
Double Entendre.s ; because they 
often put Ladies upon affected Con- 
straints, and affected Ignorance. In 
short, they break, or very much entangle, 
the Thread of Discourse ; neither am I 
Master of any Rules, to settle the dis- 
concerted Countenances of the Females 
in such a Juncture ; I can, therefore, only 
allow Inuendoes of this Kind to be deli- 
vered in Whispers, and only to young 
Ladies under Twenty, who, being in 
Honour obliged to blush, it may produce 
a new Subject for Discourse. 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

Perhaps the Criticks may accuse me 
of a Defect in my following System of 
Polite Conversation ; that there is 
one great Ornament of Discourse, whereof 
I have not produced a single Example ; 
which, indeed, I purposely omitted for 
some Reasons that I shall immediately 
offer ; and, if those Reasons will not 
satisfy the Male Part of my gentle 
Readers, the Defect may be supplied in 
some manner by an Appendix to the 
Second Edition ; which Appendix shall 
be printed by it self, and sold for Six- 
pence, stitched, and with a Marble Cover, 
that my Readers may have no Occasion 
to complain of being defrauded. 

The Defect I mean is, my not having 
inserted,, into the Body of my Book, all 
-the Oaths now most in Fashion for 
l^mbellishing Discourse ; especially since 
it could give no Offence to the Clergy, 
who are seldom or never admitted to 
these polite Assemblies. And it must 
be allowed, that Oaths, well chosen, are 
not only very useful Expletives to Matter, 
but great Ornaments of Style. 

What I shall here offer in my own 
Defence upon this important Article, will, 
I hope, be some Extenuation of my Fault. 



INTRODUCTION. 2$ 

First, I reasoned with my self, that a 
just Collection of Oaths, repeated as 
often as the Fashion requires, must have 
enlarged this Volume, at least, to Double 
the Bulk ; whereby it would not only l 
double the Charge, but likewise make 
the Volume less commodious for Pocket- 
Carriage. 

Secondly, I have been assured by some 
judicious Friends, that themselves have 
known certain Ladies to take Offence 
(whether seriously or no) at too great a 
Profusion of Cursing and Swearing, even 
when that Kind of Ornament was not 
improperly introduced ; which, I confess, 
did startle me n ot a little ; having neve r 
nfeerveH thp ij|^ q jn the Compass of my ( 
n-ofn spypral A cquaintance, at leagfftTr 
, twenty Years past. Jtlowever. 1 was 
forced to submit to wiser Judgments 
than my own. 

Thirdly, as this most useful Treatise 
is calculated for all future Times, I con- 
sidered, in this Maturity of my Age, how 
great a Variety of Oaths I have heard 
since I began to study the World, and 
to know Men and Manners. And here I 
found it to be true what I have read in 
an antient Poet. 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

" For, now-a-days, Men change their Oaths, 
As often as they change their Cloaths." 

In short, Oaths are the Children of 



Fashion, thev are in some sense almost 
Annuals, like what I observed before of 
Cant- Words ; and I my self can remem- 
ber about forty different Sets. The old 
Stock-Oaths I am confident, do not 
mount to above forty five, or fifty at 
most ; but the Way of mingling and 
compounding them is almost as various 
as that of the Alphabet. 

Sir John Perrot was the first Man 
of Quality whom I find upon Record to 
have sworn by G — 's W — s. He lived 
in the Reign of Q. Elizabeth, and was 
supposed to have been a natural Son of 
Henry the Eighth, who might also have 
probably been his Instructor. This Oath 
indeed still continues, and is a Stock- 
Oath to this Day ; so do several others 
that have kept their natural Simplicity : 
But, infinitely the greater Number hath 
been so frequently changed and dislo- 
cated, that if the Inventors were now 
alive, they could hardly understand them. 

Upon these Considerations I began to 
apprehend, that if I should insert all the 
Oaths as are now current, my Book 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

would be out of Vogue with the first 
Change of Fashion, and grow useless as 
an old Dictionary : Whereas, the Case is 
quite otherways with my Collection of 
polite Discourse ; which, as I before ob- 
served, hath descended by Tradition for 
at least an hundred Years, without any 
Change in the Phraseology. I, therefore, 
determined with my self to leave out the 
whole System of Swearing ; because, 
both the male and female Oaths are all- 
perfectly well known and distinguished ; 
new ones are easily learnt, and with a 
moderate Share of Discretion may be 
properly applied on every fit Occasion. 
However, I must here, upon this Article 
of Swearing, most earnestly recommencj^ 
to my male Readers, that they would 
please a little to study Variety. For, it 
is the Opinion of our most refined 
Swearers, that the same Oath or Curse, 
cannot, consistent with true Politeness, 
be repeated above nine Times in the 
same Company, by the same Person, and 
at one Sitting. 

I am far from desiring, or expecting, 
that all the polite and ingenious Speeches, 
contained in this Work, should, in the 
general Conversation between Ladies 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

and Gentlemen, come in so quick and so 
close as I have here delivered them. By 
no means : On the contrary, they ought 
to be husbanded better, and spread 
much thinner. Nor, do I make the least 
Question, but that, by a discreet thrifty 
Management, they may serve for the 
Entertainment of a whole Year, to any 
Person, who does not make too long or 
too frequent Visits in the same Family. 
j4rhe Flowers of Wit, Fancy, Wisdom, 
Humour, and Politeness, scattered in this 
Volume, amount to one thousand, seventy • 
and four. Allowing then to every Gentle- 
man and Lady thirty visiting Families, 
(not insisting upon Fractions) there will 
want but little of an hundred polite 
Questions, Answers, Replies, Rejoinders, 
Repartees, and Remarks, to be daily de- 
livered fresh, in every Company, for 
twelve solar Months ; and even this is a 
higher Pitch of Delicacy than the World 
insists on, or hath Reason to expect. 
But, I am altogether for exalting this 
Science to its utmost Perfection. 

It may be objected, that the Publica- 
tion of my Book may, in a long Course 
of Time, prostitute this noble Art to 
mean and vulgar People : But, I answer ; 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

That it is not so easy an Acquirement 
as a few ignorant Pretenders may ima- 
gine. A Footman can swear ; but he 
cannot swear Hke a Lord. He can swea\ 
as often : But, can he swear with equal 
Delicacy, Propriety, and Judgment ? No, 
certainly ; unless he be a Lad of superior 
Parts, of good Memory, a diligent Ob- 
server ; one who hath a skilful Ear, some 
Knowledge in Musick, and an exact 
Taste, which hardly fall to the Share of 
one in a thousand among that Frater- 
nity, in as high Favour as they now stand 
with their Ladies ; neither hath one 
Footman in six so fine a Genius as to 
relish and apply those exalted Sentences 
comprised in this Volume, which I offer 
to the World : It is true, I cannot see 
that the same ill Consequences would 
follow from the Waiting-Woman, who, 
if she hath been bred to read Romances, 
may have some small subaltern, or 
second-hand Politeness ; and if she con- 
stantly attends the Tea, and be a good 
Listner, may, in some Years, make a 
tolerable Figure, which will serve, per- 
haps, to draw in the young Chaplain or 
the old Steward. But, alas ! after all, 
how can she acquire those hundreds of 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

Graces and Motions, and Airs, the whole 
military Management of the Fan, the 
Contortions of every muscular Motion 
in the Face, the Risings and Fallings, 
the Quickness and Slowness of the 
Voice, with the several Turns and Ca- 
dences ; the proper Junctures of Smiling 
and Frowning, how often and how loud 
to laugh, when to jibe and when to flout, 
with all the other Branches of Doctrine 
and Discipline above-recited ? 

I am, therefore, not under the least 
Apprehension that this Art will be ever 
in Danger of falling into common Hands, 
which requires so much Time, Study, 
Practice, and Genius, before it arrives to 
Perfection ; and, therefore, I must repeat 
my Proposal for erecting Publick Schools, 
provided with the best and ablest Mas- 
ters and Mistresses, at the Charge of the 
Nation. 

I have drawn this Work into the 
Form of a Dialogue, after the Patterns 
of other famous Writers in History, 
Law, Politicks, and most other Arts and 
Sciences, and I hope it will have the 
same Success : For, who can contest it 
to be of greater Consequence to the 
Happiness of these Kingdoms, than all 



INTRODUCTION. 3 1 

human Knowledge put together. Dia- 
logue is held the best Method of incul- 
cating any Part of Knowledge ; and, as 
I am confident, that Publick Schools will 
soon be founded for teaching Wit and 
Politeness, after my Scheme, to young 
People of Quality and Fortune, I have 
determined next Sessions to deliver a 
Petition to the House of Lords for an 
Act of Parliament, to establish my Book, 
as the Standard Grammar in all the 
principal Cities of the Kingdom where 
this Art is to be taught, by able Masters, 
who are to be approved and recom- 
mended by me ; which is no more than 
Lilly obtained only for teaching Words 
in a Language wholly useless : Neither 
shall I be so far wanting to my self, as 
not to desire a Patent granted of course 
to all useful Projectors ; I mean, that I 
may have the sole Profit of giving a 
Licence to every School to read my 
Grammar for fourteen Years. 

The Reader cannot but observe what 
Pains I have been at in polishing the 
Style of my Book to the greatest Exact- 
ness : Nor, have I been less diligent in 
refining the Orthography, by spelling 
the Words in the very same Manner 



32 INTRODUCTION. 

that they are pronounced by the Chief 
Patterns of Politeness, at Court, at Levees, 
at Assemblees, at Play-houses, at the 
prime Visiting-Places, by young Tem- 
plers, and by Gentlemen-Commoners of 
both Universities, who have lived at least 
a Twelvemonth in Town, and kept the 
best Company. Of these Spellings the 
Publick will meet with many Examples 
in the following Book. For instance, 
can't, haiit, shdnt, didn't, coodn't, woodn't, 
is n't, e'n't, with many more ; besides 
several Words which Scholars pretend 
are derived from Greek and Latin, but 
not pared into a polite Sound by Ladies, 
Officers of the Army, Courtiers and 
Templers, such ^sjommetry for Geometry, 
Verdi for Verdict, Lierdiox Lord, Larnen 
for Learning ; together with some Abbre- 
viations exquisitely refined ; as, Pozz for 
Positive ; Mobb for Mobile ; Phisz for 
Physiognomy ; Rep for Reputation ; Ple- 
nipo for Plenipotentiary ; Incog iox Incog- 
nito ; Hypps, or Hippo, for Hypocon- 
driacks ; Bam for Bamboozle ; and Bam- 
boozle for God kno-ius what ; whereby 
much Time is saved, and the high Road 
to Conver sation cut short by many a 

M^E 



INTRODUCTION. 33 

I have, as it will be apparent, laboured 
very much, and, I hope, with Felicity- 
enough, to make every Character in the 
Dialogue agreeable with it self, to a de- 
gree, that, whenever any judicious Person 
shall read my Book aloud, for the Enter- 
tainment and Instruction of a select Com- 
pany, he need not so much as name the 
particular Speakers ; because all the Per- 
sons, throughout the several Subjects of 
Conversation, strictly observe a different 
Manner, peculiar to their Characters, 
which are of different kinds : But this I 
leave entirely to the prudent and impar- 
tial Reader's Discernment. 

Perhaps the very Manner of introduc- 
ing the several Points of Wit and Humour 
may not be less entertaining and instruct- ' 
ing than the Matter it self. In the latter 
I can pretend to little Merit ; because it 
entirely depends upon Memory and the 
Happiness of having kept polite Com-^ 
pany. But, the Art of contriving, that 
those Speeches should be introduced , 
naturally, as the most proper Sentiments 
to be" delivered upon so great Variety 1 
of Subjects, I take to be a Talent some- / 
what uncommon, and a Labour that few 
People could hope to succeed in unless 
D 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

they had a Genius, particularly turned 
that way, 'added to a sincere disinterested 
Love of the Publick. 

Although every curious Question, smart 
Answer, and witty Reply be little known 
to many People ; yet, there is not one 
single Sentence in the whole Collection, 
for which I cannot bring most authentick 
Vouchers, whenever I shall be called ; 
and, even for some Expressions, which to 
a few nice Ears may perhaps appear 
somewhat gross, I can produce the Stamp 
of Authority from Courts, Chocolate- 
houses, Theatres, Assemblees, Drawing- 
rooms, Levees, Card-meetings, Balls, and 
Masquerades, from Persons of both 
Sexes, and of the highest Titles next to 
Royal. However, to say the truth, I 
have been very sparing in my Quota- 
tions of such Sentiments that seem to be 
over free ; because, when I began my 
Collection, such kind of Converse was 
almost in its Infancy, till it was taken 
into the Protection of my honoured 
Patronesses at Court, by whose Coun- 
tenance and Sanction it hath become a 
choice Flower in the Nosegay of Wit and 
Politeness. 

Some will perhaps object, that when 



INTRODUCTION. 35 

I bring my Company to Dinner, I men- 
tion too great a Variety of Dishes, not 
always consistent with the Art of 
Cookery, or proper for the Season of the 
Year, and Part of the first Course mingled 
with the second, besides a Failure in 
Politeness, by introducing Black Pudden 
to a Lord's Table, and at a great Enter- 
tainment : But, if I had omitted the 
Black Pudden, I desire to know what 
would have become of that exquisite 
Reason given by Miss Notable for not 
eating it ; the World perhaps might have 
lost it for ever, and I should have been 
justly answerable for having left it out of 
my Collection. I therefore cannot but 
hope, that such Hypercritical Readers 
will please to consider, my Business was 
to make so full and compleat a Body of 
refined Sayings, as compact as I could ; 
only taking care to produce them in the 
most natural and probable Manner, in 
order to allure my Readers into the very 
Substance and Marrow of this most ad- 
mirable and necessary Art. 

I am heartily sorry, and was much dis- 
appointed to find, that so universal and 
polite an Entertainment as Cards, hath 
hitherto contributed very little to the 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

Enlargement of my Work ; I have sate 
by many hundred Times with the 
utmost Vigilance, and my Table-Book 
ready, without being able in eight 'Hou rs 
to gather Matter for on e single PhrasTm 
i^^HQQk^ iiut this, T think, may be 
easily accounted for by the Turbulence 
and Justling of Passions upon the various 
and surprising Turns, Incidents, Revolu- 
tions, and Events of good and evil For- 
tune, that arrive in the course of a long 
Evening at Play ; the Mind being wholly 
taken up, and the Consequence of Non- 
attention so fatal. 

Play is supported upon the two great 
Pillars of Deliberation and Action. The 
Terms of Art are few, prescribed by Law 
and Custom ; no Time allowed ibr Di- 
gressions or Tryals of Wit. QUADRILLE 
in particular bears some Resemblance to 
a State of Nature, which, we are told, is 
a State of War, wherein every Woman 
is against every Woman : The Unions 
short, inconstant, and soon broke ; the 
League made this Minute without know- 
ing the Ally ; and dissolved in the next. 
Thus, at the Game of Quadrille, fe- 
male Brains are always employed in 
Stratagem, or their Hands in Action. 



INTRODUCTION. 37 

Neither can I find, that our Art hath 
gained much by the happy Revival of 
Masquerading among us ; the whole 
Dialogue in thoseMeetingsbeingsummed 
up in one sprightly (I confess, but) single 
Question, and as sprightly an Answer. 
Do YOU KNOW ME ? YES, I DO. And, 
Do YOU KNOW ME? YES, I DO. For 
this Reason I did not think it proper to 
give my Readers the Trouble of intro- 
ducing a Masquerade, meerly for the 
sake of a single Question, and a single 
Answer. Especially, when to perform 
this in a proper manner, I must have 
brought in a hundred Persons together, 
of both Sexes, dressed in fantastick 
Habits for one Minute, and dismiss them 
the next. 

Neither is it reasonable to conceive, 
that our Science can be much improved 
by Masquerades ; where the Wit of both 
Sexes is altogether taken up in continu- 
ing singular and humoursome Disguises ; 
and their Thoughts entirely employed in" 
bringing Intrigues and Assignations of 
Gallantry to an happy Conclusion. ^ 

The judicious Reader will readily dis- 
cover, that I make Miss Notable my 
Heroin, and Mr. Thomas Never-out 



38 INTRODUCTION. 

my Hero. I have laboured both their 
Characters with my utmost Ability. It 
is into their Mouths that I have put the 
liveliest Questions, Answers, Repartees, 
and Rejoynders'; because my Design 
was to propose them both as Patterns 
for all young Batchelors and single 
Ladies to copy after. By which I hope 
very soon to see polite Conversation 
flourish between both Sexes in a more 
consummate Degree of Perfection, than 
these Kingdoms have yet ever known. 

I have drawn some Lines of Sir John 
LiNGER's Character, the Derbyshire 
Knight, on purpose to place it in Counter- 
view or Contrast with that of the other 
Company ; wherein I can assure the 
Reader, that I intended not the least 
Reflexion upon Derbyshire, the Place of 
my Nativity. But, my Intention was 
on|y to shew the Misfortune of those 
Persons, who have the Uisadvaivtage to 
be^Bred out of The"CircTe" of Polite ness ; 
wfiereoT I takeThe present Limits to ex- 
tend no further than London, and ten 
Miles round ; although others are please 
to compute it within the Bills of Mortality. 
If you compare the Discourses of my 
Gentlemen and Ladies with those of Sir 



INTRODUCTION. 39 

John, you will hardly conceive him to 
have been bred in the same Climate, or 
under the same Laws, Language, Reli- 
gion, or Government : And, accordingly, 
I have introduced him speaking in his own 
rude Dialect, for no other Reason than 
to teach my Scholars how to avoid it. 

The curious Reader will observe, that 
when Conversation appears in danger to 
flag, which, in some Places, I have art- 
fully contrived, I took care to invfent 
some sudden Question, or Turn of Wit, 
to revive it ; such as these that follow. 
What ? I think here's a silent Meeting ! 
Come, Madam, A Penny for your 
Thought ; with several other of the like 
sort. I have rejected all provincial or 
country Turns of Wit and Fancy, because 
I am acquainted with a very few ; but, 
indeed, chiefly because I found them so 
very much inferior to those at Court, 
especially among the Gentlemen-Ushers, 
the Ladies of the Bed-Chamber, and the 
Maids of Honour ; I must also add, the 
hither End of our noble Metropolis. 

When this happy Art of polite Con- 
versing shall be thoroughly improved, 
good Company will be no longer pestered 
with dull, dry, tedious Story-tellers, nor 



40 INTRODUCTION. 

brangling Disputers : For, a right 
Scholar, of either Sex, in our Science, 
will perpetually interrupt them with 
some sudden surprising Piece of Wit, that 
shall engage all the Company in a loud 
Laugh ; and, if after a Pause, the grave 
Companion resumes his Thread in the 
following Manner ; Well, but to go on 
with my Story ; new Interruptions come 
from the Left to the Right, till he is 
forced to give over. 

I have made some few Essays toward 
Selling of BARGAINS, as well for instruct- 
ing those, who delight in that Accom- 
plishment, as in compliance with my 
Female Friends at Court. However, I 
have transgressed a little in this Point, by 
doing it in a manner somewhat more re- 
served than as it is now practiced at St. 
James's. At the same time, I can hardly 
allow this Accomplishment to pass pro- 
perly for a Branch of that perfect polite 
Conversation, which makes the constituent 
Subject of my Treatise ; and, for which 
I have already given my Reasons. I have 
likewise, for further Caution, left a Blank 
in the critical Point of each Bargain, 
which the sagacious Reader may fill up in 
his own Mind. 



INTRODUCTION. 41 

As to my self, I am proud to own, that 
except some Smattering in the French, I 
am what the Pedants and Scholars call, a 
Man wholly illiterate, that is tb say, un- 
learned. But, as to my own Language, 
I shall not readily yield to many Persons : 
I have read most of the Plays^and all the 
miscellany Poems that have been pub- 
lished for twenty Years past. I have 
read Mr. Thomas Brown's Works entire, 
and had the Honour to be his intimate 
Friend, who was universally allowed to be 
the greatest Genius of his Age. 

Upon what Foot I stand with the pre- 
sent chief reigning Wits, their Verses 
recommendatory, which they have com- 
mended me to prefix before my Book, 
will be more than a thousand Witnesses : 
I am, and have been, likewise, particularly 
acquainted with Mr. CHARLES GiLDON, 
Mr. Ward, Mr. Dennis, that admirable 
Critick and Poet, and several others. 
Each of these eminent Persons (I mean, 
those who are still alive) have done me 
the Honour to read this Production five 
Times over with the strictest Eye of 
friendly Severity, and proposed some, 
although very few, Amendments, which 
I gratefully accepted, and do here pub- 



42 INTRODUCTION. 

lickly return my Acknowledgment for 
so singular a Favour. 

And here, I cannot conceal, without 
Ingratitude, the great Assistance I have 
received from those two illustrious Writers, 
Mr. OzEL, and Captain Stevens. These, 
and some others, of distinguished Emi- 
nence, in whose Company I have passed 
so many agreeable Hours, as they have 
been the great Refiners of our Language ; 
so, it hath been my chief Ambition to 
imitate them. Let the POPES, the GAYS, 
the Arbuthnots, the Youngs, and the 
rest of that snarling Brood burst with 
Envy at the Praises we receive from the 
Court and Kingdom. 

But to return from this Digression. 
The Reader will find that the follow- 
ing Collection of polite Expressions will 
easily incorporate with all Subjects of 
genteel and fashionable Life. Those, 

"^ which are proper for Morning-Tea, will 
be equally useful at the same Entertain- 
ment in the Afternoon, even in the same 

^ Company, only by shifting the several 
Questions, Answers, and Replies, into 

"S different Hands ; and such as are adapted 

^=_to Meals will indifferently serve for Dinners 
or Suppers, only distinguishing between 



INTRODUCTION. 43 

Day-light and Candle-light. By this 
Method no diligent Person, of a tolerable 
Memory, can ever be at a loss. 

It hath been my constant Opinion, that 
every Man, who is intrusted by Nature 
with any useful Talent of the Mind, is 
bound by all the Ties of Honour, and 
that Justice which we all owe our Coun- 
try, to propose to himself some one illus- 
trious Action, to be performed in his Life 
for the publick Emolument. And, 1 freely 
confess, that so grand, so important an 
Enterprize as I have undertaken, and 
executed to the best of my Power, well 
deserved a much abler Hand, as well as 
a liberal Encouragement from the Crown. 
However, I am bound so far to acquit 
my self, as to declare, that I have often 
and most earnestly intreated several of 
my above-named Friends, universally 
allowed to be of the first Rank in Wit 
and Politeness, that they would under- 
take a Work, so honourable to them- 
selves, and so beneficial to the Kingdom ; 
but so great was their Modesty, that they 
all thought fit to excuse themselves, and 
.impose the Task on me; yet in so obliging 
a Manner, and attended with such Com- 
pliments on my poor Qualifications, that 



44 INTRODUCTION. 

I dare not repeat. And, at last, their In- 
treaties, or rather their Commands, added 
to that inviolable Love I bear to the Land 
of my Nativity, prevailed upon me to en- 
gage in so bold an Attempt. 

I may venture to affirm, without the 
least Violation of Modesty, that there is 
no Man, now alive, who hath, by many 
Degrees, so just Pretensions as my self, 
to the highest Encouragement from the 
CROWN,\he Parliament, and the Minis- 
try, towards bringing this Work to its 
due Perfection, I have been assured, that 
several great Heroes of antiquity were 
worshipped as Gods, upon the Merit of 
having civilized a fierce and barbarous 
People. It is manifest, I could have no 
other Intentions ; and, I dare appeal to 
my very Enemies, if such a Treatise as 
mine had been published some Years 
ago, and with as much Success as I am 
confident this will meet, I mean, by turn- 
ing the Thoughts of the whole Nobility 
and Gentry to the Study and Practice of 
polite Conversation ; whether such mean 
stupid Writers, as the Craftsman and 
his Abettors, could have been able to 
corrupt the Principles of so many hun- 
dred thousand Subjects, as, to the Shame 



INTRODUCTION. 45 

and Grief of every whiggish, loyal, and 
true Protestant Heart, it is too manifest, 
they have done. For, I desire the honest 
judicious Reader to make one Remark, 
that after having exhausted the Whole ' 
In sickly payday (if I may so call it) of 
Politeness and Refinement, and faithfully 
digested it in the following Dialogues, 
there cannot be found one Expression 
relating to Politicks; that the MINISTRY 
is never mentioned, nor the Word KiNG, 
above twice or thrice, and then only to 
the Honour of Majesty; so very cautious 
were our wiser Ancestors in forming Rules 
for Conversation, as never to give Offence 
to Crowned Heads, nor interfere with 
Party Disputes in the State. And in- 
deed, although there seem to be a close 
Resemblance between the two Words 
Politeness and Politicks, yet no Ideas are 
more inconsistent in their Natures. How- 
ever, to avoid all Appearance of Disaffec- 
tion, I have taken care to enforce Loyalty 
by an invincible Argument, drawn from 
the very Fountain of this noble Science, 
in the following short Terms, that ought 

' This Word is spelt by Latinists, Encyclo- 
pedia ; but the judicious Author wisely prefers 
the Polite Reading before the Pedantick. 



46 INTRODUCTION. 

to be writ in Gold, Must IS FOR THE 
King ; which uncontroulable Maxim I 
took particular Care of introducing in 
the first Page of my Book ; thereby to 
instil early the best Protestant Loyal 
Notions into the Minds of my Readers. 
Neil-hpr jq it mcpr ly my ow n p.rivate 
Opinion, JhatPoliteness is t he firmest 
^Foundation upon which Loyalty can be 
supported : For, thus~EappIy sinigs the 
Divine Mr. Tibbalds, or Theobalds, in one 
of his Birth-Day Poems. 

" I am no SchoUard ; but I am polite : 
Therefore be sure I am no Jacobite." 

Hear likewise, to the same purpose, 
that great Master of the whole Poetick 
Choir, our most illustrious Laureat Mr. 
Colly Gibber. 

" Who in his Talk can't speak a polite Thing, 
Will never loyal be to George our King." 

I could produce many more shining 
Passages out of our principal Poets, of 
hoth Sexes, to confirm this momentous 
Truth. From whence, I think, it may 
be fairly concluded, that whoever can 
most contribute towards propagating the 
Science contained in the following Sheets, 



INTRODUCTION. 47 

through the Kingdoms of Great-Britain 
and Ireland, may justly demand all the 
Favour, that the wisest Court, and most 
judicious Senate, are able to confer on 
the most deserving Subject. I leave the 
Application to my Readers. 

This is the Work, which I have been 
so hardy to attempt, and without the 
least mercenary View. Neither do I 
doubt of succeeding to my full Wish, 
except among the TORIES and their 
Abettors ; who being all Jacobites, and, 
consequently Papists in their Hearts, 
from a Want of true Taste, or by strong 
Affectation, may perhaps resolve not to 
read my Book ; chusing rather to deny 
themselves the Pleasure and Honour of 
shining in polite Company among the 
principal Genius's of both Sexes through- 
out the Kingdom, than adorn their Minds 
with this noble Art ; and probably appre- 
hending (as, I conffess nothing is more 
likely to happen) that a true Spirit of 
Loyalty to the Protestant Succession 
should steal in along with it. 

If my favourable and gentle Readers 
could possibly conceive the perpetual 
Watchings, the numberless Toils, the 
frequent Risings in the Night, to set 



48 INTRODUCTION. 

down several ingenious Sentences, that I 
suddenly or accidentally recollected ; and 
which, without my utmost Vigilance, had 
been irrecoverably lost for ever : If they 
would consider with what incredible Dili- 
gence I daily and nightly attended at 
those Houses, where Persons of both 
Sexes, and of the most distinguished 
Merit, used to meet and display their 
Talents ; with what Attention I listened 
to all their Discourses, the better to re- 
tain them in my Memory ; and then, at 
proper Seasons, withdrew unobserved, to 
enter them in my Table-Book, while the 
Company little suspected what a noble 
Work I had then in Embryo : I say, if 
all these were known to the World, I 
think, it would be no great Presumption 
in me to expect, at a proper Juncture, 
the publick Thanks of both Houses of 
Parliament, for the Service and Honour 
I have done to the whole Nation by my 
single Pen. 

Although I have never been once 
charged with the least Tincture of 
Vanity, the Reader will, I hope, give me 
leave to put an easy Question : What is 
become of all the King of Sweden's Vic- 
tories ? Where are the Fruits of them at 



INTRODUCTION. 49 

this Day ? or, of what Benefit will they 
be to Posterity? were not many of his 
greatest Actions owing, at least in part, 
to Fortune ? were not all of them owing 
to the Valour of his Troops, as much 
as to his own Conduct? could he have 
conquered the Polish King, or the 
Czar of Muscovy, with his single Arm? 
Far be it from me to envy or lessen the 
Fame he hath acquired ; but, at the same 
time, I will venture to say, without Breach 
of Modesty, that I, who have alone with 
this Right-hand subdued Barbarism, 
Rudeness, and Rusticity, who have estab- 
lished and fixed for ever the whole Sys- 
tem of all true Politeness and Refine- 
ment in Conversation, should think my 
self most inhumanely treated by my 
Country-men, and would accordingly re- 
sent it as the highest Indignity, to be 
put upon the level, in point of Fame, in 
After-ages, with Charles the Twelfth, 
late King of Sweden. 

And yet, so incurable is the Love of 
Detraction, perhaps beyond what the 
charitable Reader will easily believe, that 
I have ,been assured by more than one 
credible Person, how some of my 
Enemies have industriously whispered 
E 



so INTRODUCTION. 

about, that one ISAAC NEWTON, an In- 
strument-maker, formerly living near 
Leicester- Fields, and afterwards a Work- 
man at the Mint in the Tower, might 
possibly pretend to vye with me for 
Fame in future times. The Man it seems 
was knighted for making Sun-Dials better 
than others of his Trade, and was thought 
to be a Conjurer, because he knew how 
to draw Lines and Circles upon a Slate, 
which no body could understand. But, 
adieu to all noble Attempts for endless 
Renown, if the Ghost of an obscure Me- 
chanick shall be raised up to enter into 
competition with me, only for his Skill 
in making Pot-hooks and Hangers with 
a Pencil, which many thousand accom- 
plished Gentlemen and Ladies can per- 
form as well with a Pen and Ink upon a 
Piece of Paper, and, in a manner, as 
little intelligible as those of Sir Isaac. 

My most ingenious Friend already 
mentioned, Mr. CoLLY Cibber, who 
does too much Honour to the Laurel 
Crown he deservedly wears (as he hath 
often done to many Imperial Diadems 
placed on his Head) was pleased to tell 
me, that, if my Treatise were formed 
into a Comedy, the Representation, per- 



INTRODUCTION. S I 

formed to Advantage on our Theatre 
might very much contribute to the 
Spreading of polite Conversation among 
all Persons of Distinction through the 
whole Kingdom. 

I own, the Thought was ingenious, 
and my Friend's Intention good. But, 
I cannot agree to his Proposal : For, Mr. 
ClBBER himself allowed, that the Sub- 
jects handled in my Work, being so 
numerous and extensive, it would be ab- 
solutely impossible for one, two, or even 
six Comedies to contain them. From 
whence it will follow, that many admi- 
rable and essential Rules for polite Con- 
versation must be omitted. 

And here let me do justice to my 
Friend Mr. TiBALDS, who plainly con- 
fessed before Mr. Cibber himself, that 
such a Project, as it would be a great 
Diminution to my Honour, so it would 
intolerably mangle my Scheme, and 
thereby destroy the principal End at 
which I aimed, to form a compleat Body 
or System of this most useful Science in 
all its Parts. And therefore Mr. TiB- 
BALDS, whose Judgment was never dis- 
puted, chose rather to fall in with my 
Proposal mentioned before, of erecting 



52 INTRODUCTION. 

-• publick Schools and Seminaries all over 
the Kingdom, to instruct the young 

. People of both Sexes in this Art, accord- 

/ ing to my Rules, and in the Method that 

.1 have laid down. 

I shall conclude this long, but neces- 
sary Introduction, with a Request, or 
indeed rather, a just and reasonable De- 
mand from all Lords, Ladies, and Gentle- 
men, that while they are entertaining 
and improving each other with those 
polite Questions, Answers, Repartees, 
Replies, and Rejoinders, which I have 
with infinite Labour, anS close Applica- 
tion, during the Space of thirty-six 
Years, been collecting for their Service 
and Improvement, they shall, as an In- 
stance of Gratitude, on every proper 
Occasion, quote my Name, after this or 
the like manner. Madam, as our Master 
Wagstaff says. My Lord, as our Friend 
Wagstaff has it. I do likewise expect, 
that all my Pupils shall drink my Health 
every Day at Dinner and Supper during 
my Life ; and that they, or their Posterity, 
shall continue the same Ceremony to my 
not inglorious Memory, after my Decease, 
for ever. 



POLITE CONVERSATION. 

IN THREE DIALOGUES. 



DRAMATIS PERSONiE. 

The MEN. 

Lord Sparkish, 
Lord Smart, 
Sir John Linger, 
Mr. Neverout, 
Colonel Atwit. 

The LADIES. 

Lady Smart, 
Miss Notable, 
■ Lady Answerall. 



POLITE CONVERSATION, 

ETC. 

ST. JAMES'S PARK. 
Lord Sparkish meeting Col. Atwit. 

Col, Well met, my Lord. 

Ld. Sparkish. Thank ye, Colonel. A 
Parson would have said, I hope we shall 
meet in Heaven. When did you see 
Tofn Neverout ? 

Col. He's just coming towards us. 
Talk of the Devil 

[Neverout comes up. 

Col. How do you do, Tom ? 

Neverout. Never the better for you. 

Col. I hope, you're never the worse. 
But where's your Manners ? Don't you 
see my Lord Sparkish? 

Neverout, My Lord, I beg your Lord- 
ship's Pardon. 

Ld. Sparkish. Tom, how" is it, that you 



56 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

can't see the Wood for Trees? What 
Wind blew you hither ? 
, Neverout. Why, my Lord, it is an ill 
Wind blows nobody good ; for it gives 
me the Honour of seeing your Lordship. 

Col. Tom, you must go with us to 
Lady Smarfs to Breakfast. 

Neverout. Must? Why, Colonel, Must's 
for the King. 

[Col. offering in Jest to draw his Sword. 

Col Have you spoke with all your 
Friends ? 

Neverout. Colonel, as you're stout, be 
merciful. 

Ld. Sparkish. Come, agree, agree ; the 
Law's costly. 

\Col. taking his Hand from the Hilt. 

Col. Well, Tom, you are never the 
worse Man to be afraid of me. Come 
along. 

Neverout. What, do you think, I was 
born in a Wood, to be afraid of an 
Owl? 

I'll wait on you. I hope Miss Notable 
will be there ; egad she's very handsome, 
and has Wit at Will. 

Col. Why every one as they like ; as 
the good Woman said, when she kiss'd 
her Cow. 



DIALOGUE I. 57 

[Lord Smart'j House ; they knock at the 
Door ; the Porter comes out. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, are you the 
Porter ? 

Porter. Yes, for Want of a better. 

Ld. Sparkish. Is your Lady at Home ? 

Porter. She was at Home just now ; 
but she's not gone out yet. 

Neverout. I warrant, this Rogue's 
Tongue is well hung. 

\Lady Smart'j' Antichamber. 

Lady Smart and Lady Answerall at the 
Tea-table. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, your Lordship's 
most humble Servant. 

Ld. Sparkish. Madam, you spoke too 
late ; I was your Ladyship's before. 

Lady Smart. Oh ! Colonel, are you 
here! 

Col. As sure as you're there, Madam. v-<^>, "" • 

Lady Smart. Oh, Mr. Neverout ! what, "- 
such a Man alive ! 

Neverout. Ay, Madam ; alive, and alive 
like to be, at your Ladyship's Service. 

Lady Smart. Well : I'll get a Knife, 
and nick it down, that Mr. Neverout 



58 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

came to our House. And pray, What 
News Mr. Neverout ? 

Neverout. Why, Madam, Queen Eliza- 
beth's dead. 

Lady Smart. Well, Mr. Neverout, I see 
you are no Changeling. 

[Miss Notable comes in. 

Neverout. Miss, your Slave : I hope 
your early Rising will do you no Harm. 
I hear you are but just come out of the 
Cloth-Market. 

Miss. I always rise at Eleven, whether 
it be Day or no. 

Col. Miss, I hope you are up for all 
Day? 

Miss. Yes, if I don't get a Fall before 
Night. 

Col. Miss, I heard you were out of 
Order ; pray, how are you now ? 

Miss. Pretty well. Colonel, I thank 
you. 

Col. Pretty and well, Miss ! that's Two 
very good things. 

Miss. I mean, I am better than I was. 

Neverout. Why then, 'tis well you 
were sick. 

Miss. What, Mr. Neverout; you take 
me up, before I'm down. 



DIALOGUE I. 59 

Lady Smart. Come, let us leave off 
Children's Play, and come to Push-pin. 

Miss. \to Lady Smart.'] Pray, Madam, 
give me some more Sugar to my Tea. 

Col. Oh ! Miss, you must needs be very 
good-humour'd, you love sweet things so 
much. 

Neverout. Stir it up with the Spoon, 
Miss ; for the deeper the sweeter. 

Lady Smart. I assure you, Miss, the 
Colonel has made you a great Compli- 
ment. 

Miss. I am sorry for it ; for I have 
heard say, that complimenting is lying. 

Lady Smart, [to Ld. Sparkish.'] My 
Lord, methinks the Sight of you is good 
for sore Eyes ; if we had known of your 
Coming, we would have strown Rushes 
for you : How has your Lordship done 
this long time ? 

Col. Faith, Madam, he's better in 
Health, than in good Conditions. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well ; I see there's no 
worse Friend than one brings from Home 
with one ; and I am not the first Man 
has carry'd a Rod to whip himself. 

Neverout. Here's Miss, has not a Word 
to throw at a Dog. Come ; a J'enny for 
your Thoughts, 



66 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. It is not worth a Farthing ; for 
I was thinking of you. 

[ Col. rising up. 

Lady Smart. Colonel, Where are you 
going so soon ? I hope you did not come 
to fetch Fire. 

Col. Madam, I must needs go Home 
for half an Hour. 

Miss. Why, Colonel, they say, the 
Devil's at Home. 

Lady Answerall. Well, but sit while 
you stay ; 'tis as cheap sitting as standing. 

Col. No, Madam ; while I'm standing 
I'm going. 

Miss. Nay, let him go ; I promise him, 
we won't tear his Cloaths to hold him. 

Lady Smart. I suppose. Colonel, we 
keep you from better Company ; I mean 
only as to myself. 

Col. Madam, I am all Obedience. 

\Col. sits down. 

Lady Smart. Lord, Miss, how can you 
drink your Tea so hot? Sure your 
Mouth's pav'd. 

How do you like this Tea, Colonel ? 

Col. Well enough. Madam ; but me- 
thinks it is a little more-ish. 

Lady Smart. Oh, Colonel ! I under- 



DIALOGUE I. 6 1 

Stand you. Betty, bring the Canister : I 
have but very little of this Tea left ; but 
I don't love to make two Wants of one ; 
want when I have it, and want when I 
have it not. He, he, he, he. [Laughs. 

Lady Answ. [to the Maz'd.] Why, sure, 
Betty, you are bewitch'd ; the Cream is 
burnt to. 

Betty. Why, Madam, the Bishop has 
set his Foot in it. 

Lady Smart. Go, you Girl, and warm 
some fresh Cream. 

Betty. Indeed, Madam, there's none 
left ; for the Cat has eaten it all. 

Lady Smart. I doubt, it was a Cat 
with Two Legs. 

Miss. Colonel, Don't you love Bread 
and Butter with your Tea ? 

Col. Yes, in a Morning, Miss : For they 
say. Butter is Gold in a Morning, Silver 
at Noon, but it is Lead at Night. 

Neverout. Miss, the Weather is so hot, 
that my Butter melts on my Bread. 

Lady Answ. Why, Butter, I've heard 
'em say, is mad twice a Year. ^ 

Ld. Sparkish. [to the Mat'd.] Mrs. ^etty, 
how does your Body Politick ? 

Col. Fie, my Lord ; you'll make Mrs- 
Betty blush. 



62 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. Blush ! ay, blush like a 
blue Dog. 

Neverout. Pray, Mrs. Betty, Are not 
you Tom Johnson's Daughter? 

Betty. So my Mother tells me. Sir. 

Ld. Sparkish. But, Mrs. Betty, I hear 
you are in Love. 

Betty. My Lord, I thank God, I hate 
nobody; I am in Charity with all the 
World. 

Lady Smart. Why, Wench, I think, 
thy Tongue runs upon Wheels this 
Morning : How came you by that Scratch 
on your Nose ? Have you been lighting 
with the Cats ? 

Col. [to Miss.] Miss, When will you be 
married ? 

Miss. One of these Odd - come - 
shortly's, Colonel. 

Neverout. Yes ; they say, the Match is 
half made, the Spark is willing, but Miss 
is not. 

Miss. I suppose, the Gentleman has 
got his own Consent for it. 

Lady Answ. Pray, My Lord, did you 
walk through the Park in this Rain ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Yes, Madam ; we were 
neither Sugar nor Salt ; we were not afraid 
the Rain would melt us. He, he, he. \Laugh, 



DIALOGUE I. 63 

Col. It rain'd, and the Sun shone at 
the same time. 

Neverout. Why, then the Devil was 
beating his Wife behind the Door, with 
a Shoulder of Mutton. [ Laugh. 

Col. A blind Man would be glad to 
see that. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, methinks 
you stand in your own Light. 

Neverout. Ah ! Madam, I have done 
so all my Life. 

Ld. Sparkish. I'm sure he sits in mine : 
Prythee, Tom, sit a little farther : I believe 
your Father was no Glasier. 

Lady Smart. Miss, dear Girl, fill me 
out a Dish of Tea, for I'm very lazy. 

\Miss fills a Dish of Tea, sweetens it, 
and then tastes it. 

Lady Smart. What, Miss, Will you be 
my Taster? 

Miss. No, Madam ; but, they say, 'tis 
an ill Cook, that can't lick her own 
Fingers. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, fill me another. 

Miss. Will you have it now, or stay 
till you get it ? 

Lady Answ. But, Colonel, they say, 
you went to Court last Night very drunk : 



64 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Nay, I'm told for certain, you had been 
among Philistines : No Wonder the Cat 
wink'd, when both her Eyes were out. 

Col. Indeed, Madam, that's a Lye. 

Ladj/ Answ. 'Tis better I should lye, 
than you should lose your good Manners : 
Besides, I don't lie ; I sit. 

Neverout. O faith, Colonel, you must 
own you had a Drop in your Eye : When 
I left you, you were half Seas over. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, I fear. Lady An- 
swerall can't live long, she has so much 
Wit. 

Neverout. No ; she can't live, that's 
certain ; but she may linger Thirty or 
Forty Years. 

Miss. Live long ; ay, longer than a 
Cat, or a Dog, or a better thing. 

Lady Ans. Oh ! Miss, you must give 
your Vardi too ! 

Ld. Sparkish. Miss, Shall I fill you 
another Dish of Tea ? 

Miss. Indeed, my Lord, I have drank 
enough. 

Ld. Sparkish. Come, it will do you 
more good than a Month's Fasting; 
here, take it. 

Miss. No, I thank your Lordship ; 
enough's as good as a Feast. 



DIALOGUE I. 65 

Ld. Sparkish. Well ; but if you always 
say No, you'll never be married. 

Lady Answ. Do, my Lord, give her a 
Dish ; for, they say. Maids will say No, 
and take it. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well ; and I dare say, 
Miss is a Maid in Thought, Word, and 
Deed. 

Neverout. I would not take my Oath 
of that. 

Miss. Pray, Sir, speak for yourself. 

Lady Smart. Fie, Miss ; they say, 
Maids should be seen, and not heard. 

Lady Answ. Good Miss, stir the Fire, 
that the Tea- Kettle may boil. — You have 
done it very well ; now it burns purely. 
Well, Miss, you'll have a chearful Hus- 
band. 

Miss. Indeed, your Ladyship could 
have stirr'd it much better. 

Lady Answ. I know that very well, 
Hussy ; but I won't keep a Dog, and 
bark myself. 

Neverout. What ! you are sick. Miss. 

Miss. Not at all ; for her Ladyship 
meant you. 

Neverout. Oh ! faith. Miss, you are in 
Lob's-pound ; get out as you can. 

Miss. I won't quarrel with my Bread 
F 



66 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

and Butter for all that : I know when 
I'm well. 

Lady Answ. Well ; but Miss 

Neverout. Ah ! dear Madam, let the 
Matter fall ; take Pity on poor Miss ; 
don't throw Water on a drownded Rat. 

Miss. Indeed, Mr. Neverout, you should 
be cut for the Simples this Morning: 
Say a Word more, and you had as good 
eat your Nails. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Miss, will you be 
so good as to favour us with a Song ? 

Miss. Indeed, my Lord, I can't ; for 
I have a great Cold. 

Col. Oh ! Miss, they say, all good 
Singers have Colds. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Madam, does not 
Miss sing very well ? 

Lady Answ. She sings, as one may 
say, my Lord. 

Miss. I hear, Mr. Neverout has a very 
good Voice. 

Col. Yes ; Tom sings well ; but his 
Luck's naught. 

Neverout. Faith, Colonel, you hit your- 
self a devilish Box on the Ear. 

Col. Miss, Will you take a Pinch of 
Snuff? 

Miss. No, Colonel ; you must know, 



DIALOGUE I. 6; 

I never take Snuff, but when I'm 
angry. 

Lady Answ. Yes, yes, she can take 
Snuff; but she has never a Box to put 
it in. 

Miss. Pray, Colonel, let me see that 
Box. 

Col. Madam, there's never a C upon it. 

Miss. May be there is. Colonel. 

Col. Ay ; but May-bees don't fly now. 
Miss. 

Neverout. Colonel, why so hard upon 
poor Miss ? Don't set your Wit against 
a Child : Miss, give me a Blow, and I'll 
beat him. 

Miss. So she pray'd me to tell you. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, my Lady Smart, 
What Kin are you to Lord Pozz ? 

Lady Smart. Why, his Grandmother 
and mine had Four Elbows. 

Lady Answ. Well, methinks here is a 
silent Meeting. Come, Miss, hold up 
your Head, Girl ; there's Money bid for 
you. [ — Miss starts — 

Miss. Lord, Madam, you frighten me 
out of my Seven Senses ! 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, I must be going. 

Lady Answ. I have seen hastier People 
than you stay all Night. 



68 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Col. \to Lady Smart. '\ Tom Neverout 
and I are to leap To-morrow for a 
Guinea. 

Miss. I believe, Colonel, Mr. Neverout 
can leap at a Crust better than you. 

Neverout. Miss, your Tongue runs be- 
fore your Wit ; nothing can tame you 
but a Husband. 

Miss. Peace ! I think I hear the Church 
Clock. 

Neverout. Why you know, as the Fool 
thinks 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, your 
Handkerchief's fallen. 

Miss, Let him set his Foot on it, that 
it mayn't fly in his Face. 

Neverout. Well, Miss 

Miss. Ay, ay ; many a one says well, 
that thinks ill. 

Neverout. Well, Miss ; I'll think of this. 

Miss. That's Rhime, if you take it in 
Time. 

Neverout. What ! I see you are a 
Poet. 

Miss. Yes ; if I had but the Wit to 
show it. 

Neverout. Miss, Will you be so kind 
as to fill me a Dish of Tea ? 

Miss. Pray, let your Betters be serv'd 



DIALOGUE I. 69 

before you ; I am just going to fill one 
for myself; and, you know, the Parson 
always christens his own Child first. 

Neverout. But I saw you fill one just 
now for the Colonel : Well, I find kissing 
goes by Favour. 

Miss. But pray, Mr. Neverout, What 
Lady was that you were talking with in 
the Side-Box last Tuesday? 

Neverout. Miss, can you keep a Secret ? 

Miss. Yes, I can. 

Neverout. Well, Miss ; and so can I. 

Col. Odds-so 1 I have cut my Thumb 
with this cursed Knife ! 

Lady Answ. Ay ; that was your 
Mother's Fault, because she only warn'd 
you not to cut your Fingers. 

Lady Smart. No, no ; 'tis only Fools 
cut their Fingers ; but wise Folks cut 
their Thumbs. 

Miss. I'm sorry for it, but I can't cry. 

Col. Don't you think Miss is grown ? 

Lady Answ. Ay ; ill Weeds grow 
apace. 

[ A Puff of Smoke comes down the 

Chimney. 

Lady Answ. Lord, Madam, Does yoyr 
Ladyship's Chimney smoke ? 



70 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Col. No, Madam ; but they say, Smoke 
always pursues the Fair, and your Lady- 
ship sat nearest. 

Lady Smart. Madam, Do you love 
Bohea Tea ? 

Lady Answ. Why, Madam, I must 
confess_I_do lov e jt ; but it dogs not 
lovejTie. 

Miss, [to Lady Smart.'] Indeed, Ma- 
dam, your Ladyship is very sparing of 
your Tea : I protest, the last I took, was 
no more than Water bewitch'd. 

Col. Pray, Miss, if I may be so bold, 
What Lover gave you that fine Etuy ? 

Miss. Don't you know? then keep 
Counsel. 

Lady Answ. I'll tell you. Colonel, who 
gave it her ; it was the best Lover she 
will ever have while she lives ; her own 
dear Papa. 

Neverout. Methinks, Miss, I don't much 
like the Colour of that Ribbon. 

Miss. Why then, Mr. Neverout, do you 
see, if you don't much like it, you may 
look off of it. 

Ld. Sparkish. I don't doubt. Madam, 
but your Ladyship has heard, that Sir 
John Brisk has got an Employment at 
Court. 



DIALOGUE I. 71 

Lady Smart. Yes, yes ; and I war- 
rant, he thinks himself no small Fool 
now. 

Neverout. Yet, Madam, I have heard 
some People take him for a wise Man. 

Lady Smart. Ay, ay ; some are wise, 
and some are other-wise. 

Lady Answ. Do you know him, Mr. 
Neverout ? 

Neverout. Know him ! ay, as well as 
the Beggar knows his Dish. 

Col. Well ; I can only say, that he 
has better Luck than honester Folks : 
But pray. How came he to get this 
Employment ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, by Chance, as the 
Man kill'd the Devil. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, you are in a 
brown Study ; What's the Matter ? Me- 
thinks you look like Mum-Chance, that 
was hang'd for saying nothing. 

Miss. I'd have you to know, I scorn 
your Words. 

Neverout. Well ; but scornful Dogs 
will eat dirty Puddings. 

Miss. Well ; my Comfort is, your 
Tongue is no Slander. What ! you 
would not have one be always on the 
high Grin. 



72 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. Cry, Map-sticks, Madam 
no Offence, I hope. 

[ Lady Smart breaks a Tea-cup. 



Lady Answ. Lord, Madam, How came 
you to break your Cup ? 

Lady Smart. I can't help it, if I would 
cry my Eyes out. 

Miss. Why, sell it. Madam, and buy a 
new one with some of the Money. 

Col. 'Tis a Folly to cry for spilt 
Milk. 

Lady Smart. Why, if Things did not 
break or wear out, how would Trades- 
men live ? 

Miss. Well ; I am very sick, if any 
body car'd for it. 

Neverout. Come, then, Miss, e'en make 
a Die of it, and then we shall have a 
Burying of our own. 

Miss. The Devil take you, Neverout, 
besides all small Curses. 

Lady Answ. Marry, come up, What, 
plain Neverout ! methinks you might 
have an M under your Girdle, Miss. 

Lady Smart. Well, well, naught's never 
in Danger ; I warrant, Miss will spit in 
her Hand, and hold fast. Colonel, do 
you like this Bisket ? 



DIALOGUE I. 73 

Col. I'm like all Fools ; I love every 
Thing that's good. 

Lady Smart. Well, and isn't it pure 
good? 

Col. 'Tis better than a worse. 

[ Footman brings the Colonel a 

Letter. 

Lady Answ. I suppose, Colonel, that's 
a Billet-doux from your Mistress. 

Col. Egad, I don't know whence it 
comes ; but whoe'er writ it, writes a 
Hand like a Foot. 

Miss. Well, you may make a Secret 
of it, but we can spell, and put together. 

Neverout. Miss, What spells B double 
Uzzard ? 

Miss. Buzzard in your Teeth, Mr. 
Neverout. 

Lady Smart. Now you are up, Mr. 
Neverout, Will you do me the Favour, 
to do me the Kindness, to take off the 
Tea-kettle ? 

Ld. Sparkish. I wonder what makes 
these Bells ring. 

Lady Answ. Why, my Lord, I sup- 
pose, because they pull the Ropes. 

\Here all laugh. 

[ Neverout //(zyj with a Tea-cup. 



74 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Now a Child would have cry'd 
half an Hour before it would have found 
out such a pretty Plaything. 

Lady Smart. Well said, Miss : I vow, 
Mr. Neverout, the Girl is too hard for 
you. 

Neverout. Ay, Miss will say any Thing 
but her Prayers, and those she whistles. 

Miss. Pray, Colonel, make me a Pre- 
sent of that pretty Penknife ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay, Miss, catch him at 
that, and hang him. 

Col. Not for the World, dear Miss ; it 
will cut Love. 

Ld. Sparkish. Colonel, you shall be 
married first, I was just going to say 
that. 

Lady Smart. Well, but for all that, I 
can tell who is a great Admirer of Miss : 
Pray, Miss, how do you like Mr. Spruce? 
I swear I have often seen him cast a 
Sheep's Eye out of a Calf's Head at 
you : Deny it if you can. 

Miss. Oh! Madam; all the World 
knows, that Mr. Spruce is a general 
Lover. 

Col. Come, Miss, 'tis too true to make 
a Jest on. 

[ Miss blushes. 



DIALOGUE I. 75 

Lady Answ. Well, however, Blushing 
is some Sign of Grace. 

Neverout. Miss says nothing ; but I 
warrant she pays it off with Thinking. 

Miss. Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, 
you are pleas'd to divert yourselves ; but, 
as I hope to be sav'd, there's nothing 
in it. 

Lady Smart. Touch a gall'd Horse, 
and he'll wince : Love will creep where 
it dare not go : I'd hold a hundred 
Pound Mr. Neverout was the Inventor of 
that Story ; and, Colonel, I doubt you 
had a Finger in the Pye. 

Lady Answ. But, Colonel, you forgot 
to salute Miss when you came in ; she 
said you had not been here a long 
time. 

Miss. Fie, Madam ! I vow, Colonel, I 
said no such thing ; I wonder at your 
Ladyship ! 

Col. Miss, I beg your Pardon 

[Goes to salute her, she struggles a 
little. 

Miss. Well, I had rather give a Knave 
a Kiss, for once, than be troubled with 
him ; but, upon my Word, you are more 
bold than welcome. 



76 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. Fie, fie, Miss ! for Shame 
of the World, and Speech of good People. 

[Neverout to Miss, who is cooking her 
Tea and Bread and Butter. 

Neverout. Come, come. Miss, make 
much of naught ; good Folks are scarce. 

Miss. What ! and You must come in 
with your Two Eggs a Penny, and Three 
of them rotten. 

Col. [to Ld. Sparkish.l But, my Lord, 
I forgot to ask you, How you like my 
new Cloaths ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, very well. Colonel ; 
only, to deal plainly with you, methinks 
the worst Piece is in the Middle. 

[ Here a loud Laugh, often re- 
peated. 

Col. My Lord, you are too severe on 
your Friends. 

Miss. Mr. Neverout, I'm hot ; are you 
a Sot? 

Neverout. Miss, I'm cold ; are you a 
Scold ? Take you that. 

Lady Smart. I confess, that was home. 
I find, Mr. Neverout, you won't give your 
Head for the washing, as they say. 

Miss. Oh ! he's a sore Man, where the 



DIALOGUE I. J7 

Skin's off. I see, Mr. Neverout has a 
Mind to sharpen the Edge of his Wit, 
on the Whetstone of my Ignorance. 

Ld. Sparkish. Faith, Tom, you are 
struck ! I never heard a better Thing. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, give me Leave 
to scratch you for that fine Speech. 

Miss. Pox on your Picture; it cost me 
a Groat the drawing. 

Neverout. [to Lady Smart.l 'Sbuds, 
Madam, I have burnt my Hand with 
your plaguy Tea-kettle. 

Lady Smart. Why, then, Mr. Neverout, 
you must say, God save the King. 

Neverout. Did you ever see the like ? 

Miss. Never, but once, at a Wedding. 

Col. Pray, Miss, how old are you ? 

Miss. Why, I'm as old as my Tongue, 
and a little older than my Teeth. 

Ld. Sparkish. [to Lady Ans.] Pray, 
Madam, is Miss Buxom married ? I hear, 
'tis all over the Town. 

Lady Answ. My Lord, she's either 
married, or worse. 

Col. If she ben't marry'd, at least she's 
lustily promis'd. But, is it certain, that 
Sir John Blunderbuss is dead at last ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Yes ; or else he's sadly 
wrong'd, for they have bury'd him. 



78 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Why, if he be dead, he'll eat no 
more Bread. 

Co/. But, is he really dead ? 

Lady Answ. Yes, Colonel ; as sure as 
you're alive 

Col. They say, he was an honest Man. 

Lady Answ. Yes, with good looking to. 

[ M.ISS feels a Pimple on her Face. 

Miss. Lord ! I think my Goodness is 
coming out. Madam, will your Lady- 
ship please to send me a Patch ? 

Neverout. Miss, if you are a Maid, put 
your Hand upon your Spot. 

Miss. There 

\Covering her Face with both her 
Hands. '- 

Lady Smart. Well, thou art a mad 
Girl. \Gives her a Tap. 

Miss. Lord, Madam ; is that a Blow 
to give a Child ? 

[ Lady Smart lets fall her Hand- 
kerchief and the Colonel stoops for 
it. 

Lady Smart. Colonel, you shall have a 
better Office. 

Col. Oh ! Madam, I can't have a 
better, than to serve your Ladyship. 



DIALOGUE I. 79 

Col. \to Lady Sparkish^ Madam, has 
your Ladyship read the new Play, written 
by a Lord ? it is call'd, Love in a Hollow 
Tree. 

Lady Sparkish. No, Colonel. 

Col. Why, then your Ladyship has one 
Pleasure to come. 

[ Miss sighs. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, why do you 
sigh? 

Miss. To make a Fool ask, and you 
are the first. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, I find there is 
nothing but a Bit and a Blow with you. 

Lady Answ. Why, you must know. 
Miss is in Love. 

Miss. I wish, my Head may never 
ake till that Day. 

Ld. Sparkish. Come, Miss, never sigh, 
but send for him. 

Lady Smart and Lady Answer- 
all speaking together."] If he be hang'd, 
he'll come hopping ; and if he be drown'd, 
he'll come dropping. 

Miss. Well, I swear, you'd make one 
die with laughing. 

[ Miss plays with a Tea-cup, and 

Neverout //«jj/j with another. 



8o POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. Well ; I see, one Fool makes 
many. 

Miss. And you're the greatest Fool of 
any. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, will you be so 
kind to tie this String for me with your 
fair Hands ? it will go all in your Day's 
Work. 

Miss. Marry, come up, indeed ; tie it 
yourself, you have as many Hands as I ; 
your Man's Man will have a fine Office 
truly : Come, pray, stand out of my 
spitting Place. 

Neverout. Well ; but. Miss, don't be 
angry. 

Miss. No ; I was never angry in my 
Life but once, and then nobody car'd for 
it; so I resolv'd never to be angry again. 

Neverout. Well ; but if you'll tie it, 
you shall never know what I'll do for 
you. 

Miss. So I suppose, truly. 

Neverout. Well ; but I'll make you a 
fine Present one of these Days. 

Miss. Ay ; when the Devil's blind ; 
and his Eyes are not sore yet. 

Neverout. No, Miss ; I'll send it you 
To-morrow. 

Miss. Well, well : To-morrow's a new 



DIALOGUE I. 8 1 

Day ; but I suppose, you mean, To- 
morrow-come-never. 

Neverout. Oh! 'tis the prettiest Thing : 
I assure you, there came but Two of 
them over in Three Ships. 

Miss. Would I could see it, quoth 
blind Hugh. But why did you not bring 
me a Present of Snuff this Morning ? 

Neverout. Because, Miss, you never 
ask'd me ; and 'tis an ill Dog that's not 
worth whistling for. 

Ld. Sparkish. \to Lady Answ.\ Pray, 
Madam, how came your Ladyship last 
Thursday to go to that odious Puppet- 
show? 

Col. Why, to be sure, her Ladyship 
went to see, and to be seen. 

Lady Answ. You have made a fine 
Speech, Colonel : Pray, what will you 
take for your Mouth-piece ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Take that. Colonel : But, 
pray. Madam, was my Lady ^ww^ there? 
They say, she is extremely handsome. 

Lady Smart. They must not see with 
my Eyes, that think so. 

Neverout. She may pass Muster well 
enough. 

Lady Answ. Pray, how old do you 
take her to be ? 



82 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Col. Why, about Five or Six and 
Twenty. 

Miss. I swear, she's no Chicken ; she's 
on the wrong Side of Thirty, if she be a 
Day. 

Lady Answ. Depend upon it, she'll 
never see Five and Thirty, and a Bit to 
spare. 

Col. Why, they say, she's one of the 
chief Toasts in Town. 

Lady Smart. Ay, when all the rest are 
out of it. 

Miss. Well ; I wou'dn't be as sick as 
she's proud, for all the World. 

Lady Answ. She looks, as if Butter 
wou'dn't melt in her Mouth ; but I war- 
rant, Cheese won't choak her. I hear, 
my Lord What-d'ye-call-him is courting 
her. 

Ld. Sparkish. What Lord d'ye mean, 
Tom? 

Miss. Why, my Lord, I suppose, Mr. 
Neverout means the Lord of the Lord 
knows what. 

Col. They say, she dances very fine. 

Lady Answ. She did ; but, I doubt, 
her Dancing Days are over. 

Col. I can't pardon her, for her Rude- 
ness to me, 



DIALOGUE I. 83 

Lady Smart. Well ; but you must 
forget and forgive. 

[ Footman comes in. 

Lady Smart. Did you call Betty ? 
Footman. She's coming, Madam. 
Lady Smart. Coming! ay, so is Christ- 
mas. 

[ Betty comes in. 

Lady Smart. Come, get ready my 
Things. Where has the Wench been 
these Three Hours ? 

Betty. Madam, I can't go faster than 
my Legs will carry me. 

Lady Smart. Ay, thou hast a Head, 
and so has a Pin. But, my Lord, all the 
Town has it, that Miss Caper is to be 
married to Sir Peter Giball; one thing 
is certain, that she hath promis'd to have 
him. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Madam, you know 
Promises are either broken or kept. 

Lady Answ. I beg your Pardon, my 
Lord ; Promises and Pye-crust are made 
to be broken. 

Lady Smart. Nay, I had it from my 
Lady Carry-lye's own Mouth. I tell you 
my Tale, and my Tale's Author ; if it be 
a Lye, you had it as cheap as I. 



84 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Answ. She and I had some 
Words last Sunday at Church ; but, I 
think, I gave her her own. 

Lady Smart. Her Tongue runs like 
the Clapper of a Mill ; she talks enough 
for herself and all the Company. 

Neverout. ■ And yet she simpers like a 
Firmity-Kettle. 

[ Miss looking in a Glass. 

Miss. Lord, how my Head is drest 
To-day ! 

Col. Oh, Madam 1 a good Face needs 
no Band. 

Miss, No ; and a bad one deserves 
none. 

Col. Pray, Miss, where is your old 
Acquaintance, Mrs. Wayward? 

Miss. Why, where should she be? 
You must needs know ; she's in her 
Skin. 

Col. I can answer that : What if you 
were as far out as she's in ? 

Miss. Well, I promis'd to go this Even- 
ing to Hyde-Park on the Water ; but, I 
protest, I'm half afraid. 

■ Neverout. Never fear. Miss ; you have 
the old Proverb on your Side, Naught's 
ne'er in Danger. 



DIALOGUE I. 85 

Col. Why, Miss, let Tom Neveroui 
wait on you ; and then, I warrant, you'll 
be as safe as a Thief in a Mill ; for you 
know, he that's born to be hangfd, will 
never be drowned. 

Neverout. Thank you. Colonel, for 
your good Word ; but, faith, if ever I 
hang, it shall be about a fair Lady's 
Neck. 

Lady Smart. Who's there? Bid the 
Children be quiet, and not laugh so loud. 

Lady Answ. Oh, Madam ! let 'em 
laugh ; they'll ne'er laugh younger. 

Neverout. Miss, I'll tell you a Secret, 
if you'll promise never to tell it again. 

Miss. No, to be sure; I'll tell it to 
nobody but Friends and Strangers. 

Neverout. Why, then, there's some 
Dirt in my Tea-cup. 

Miss. Come, come ; the more there's 
in't, the more there's on't. 

Lady Answ. Poh ! you must eat a 
Peck of Dirt before you die. 

Col. Ay, ay ; it goes all one way. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, What's a Clock ? 

Miss. Why, you must know, 'tis a 
Thing like a Bell ; and you are a Fool 
that can't tell. 

Neverout. [to Lady Answ.] Pray, 



86 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Madam, do you tell me ; for I have let 
my Watch run down. 

Lady Answ. Why, 'tis half an Hour 
past Hanging-time. 

Col. Well ; I am like the Butcher, that 
was looking for his Knife, and had it in 
his Mouth : I have been searching my 
Pockets for my Snuff-box, and, egad, 
here 'tis in my Hand. 

Miss. If it had been a Bear, it would 
have bit you, Colonel : Well, I wish, I 
had such a Snuff-box. 

Neverout. You'll be long enough before 
you wish your Skin full of Eyelet-Holes. 

Col. Wish in one Hand, 

Miss. Out upon you : Lord, what can 
the Man mean ? 

Ld. Sparkish. This Tea's very hot. 

Lady Answ. Why, it came from a hot 
Place, my Lord. 

[ Colonel spills his Tea. 

Lady Smart. That's as well done as if 
I had done it myself 

Col. Madam, I find, you live by ill 
Neighbours ; when you are forc'd to 
praise yourself 

Lady Smart. So they pray'd me to tell 
you. 



DIALOGUE I. 87 

Neverout. Well, I won't drink a Drop 
more ; if I do, 'twill go down like chopt 
Hay. 

Miss. Pray, don't say No, till you are 
ask'd. 

Neverout. Well, what you please, and 
the rest again. 

[ Miss stooping for a Pin. 

Miss. I have heard 'em say, that a 
Pin a Day is a Groat a Year. Well, as 
I hope to be married, forgive me for 
swearing ; I vow, 'tis a Needle. 

Col. Oh ! the wonderful Works of 
Nature : That a black Hen should have 
a white Egg ! 

Neverout. What ! you have found a 
Mare's Nest ; and laugh at the Eggs. 

Miss. Pray, keep your Breath to cool 
your Porridge. 

Neverout. Miss, there was a very plea- 
sant Accident last Night in St. James's 
Park. 

Miss, [to Lady Smart.] What was it 
your Ladyship was going to say just now? 

Neverout. Well, Miss ; tell a Mare a 
Tale 

Miss. I find, you love to hear yourself 
talk. 



88 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. Why, if you won't hear my 
Tale, kiss my, &c. 

Miss. Out upon you, for a filthy 
Creeter ! 

Neverout. What, Miss ! must I tell 
you a Story, and find you Ears ? 

Ld. Sparkish. [to Lady Smart.] Pray, 
Madam, don't you think Mrs. Spendal 
very genteel ? 

Lady Smart. Why, my Lord, I think 
she was cut out for a Gentlewoman, but 
she was spoil'd in the Making: She 
wears her Cloaths, as if they were thrown 
on her with a Pitch-Fork ; and, for the 
Fashion, I believe they were made in 
the Reign of Queen Bess. 

Neverout. Well, that's neither here nor 
there ; for you know, the more careless, 
the more modish. 

Col. Well, I'd hold a Wager, there will 
be a Match between her and Dick Dolt ; 
and I believe, I can see as feir into a 
Millstone as another Man. 

Miss. Colonel, I must beg your Par- 
don a Thousand Times ; but they say, 
An old Ape has an old Eye. 

Neverout. Miss, what do you mean ! 
you'll spoil the Colonel's Marriage, if 
you call him old. 



DIALOGUE I. 89 

Col. Not so old, nor yet so cold. You 
know the rest, Miss. 

Miss. Manners is a fine Thing, truly. 

Col. Faith, Miss, depend upon it, I'll 
give you as good as you bring : What ! 
if you give a Jest, you must take a 
Jest. 

Lady Smart. Well, Mr. Neverout, you'll 
ne'er have done till you break that Knife ; 
and then the Man won't take it again. 

Miss. Why, Madam, Fools will be 
medling; I wish, he may cut his Fin- 
gers ; I hope, you can see your own 
Blood without fainting. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, you shine this 

Morning like a Barn-door ; you'll 

never hold out at this Rate ; pray, save 
a little Wit for To-morrow. 

Miss. Well, you have said your Say ; 
if People will be rude, I have done ; my 
Comfort is, 'twill be all one a thousand 
Year hence. 

Neverout. Miss, you have shot your 
Bolt : I find, you must have the last 
Word.— Well, I'll go to the Opera To- 
night. — No, I can't neither, for I have 
some Business — and yet I think I must, 
for I promis'd to squire the Countess 
to her Box. 



90 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. The Countess of Puddledock, I 
suppose. 

Neverout. Peace, or War, Miss ? 

Lady Smart. Well, Mr. Neverout, you'll 
never be mad, you are of so many Minds. 

[ As Miss rises, the Chair falls 

behind her. 

Miss. Well; I shan't be Lady-Mayoress 
this Year. 

Neverout. No, Miss ; 'tis worse than 
that ; you won't be marry'd this Year. 

Miss. Lo^-d ! you make me laugh, 
tho' I a'n't well. 

[ Neverout, as Miss is standing, pulls 

her suddenly on his Lap. 

Neverout. Now, Colonel, come, sit down 
on my Lap ; more Sacks upon the Mill. 

Miss. Let me go ; ar'n't you sorry for 
my Heaviness? 

Neverout. No, Miss ; you are very 
light ; but I don't say, you are a light 
Hussy. Pray, take up the Chair for 
your Pains. 

Miss. 'Tis but one body's Labour, you 
may do it yourself: I wish, you would 
be quiet, you have more Tricks than a 
Dancing Bear. 



DIALOGUE I. gi 

[ Neverout rz'ses to take up the Chair, 

and Miss sits in his. 

Neverout. You wou'dn't be so soon in 
my Grave, Madam. 

Miss. Lord ! I have torn my Petticoat 
with your odious Romping; my Rents 
are coming in ; I'm afraid, I shall fall 
into the Ragman's Hands. 

Neverout. I'll mend it, Miss. 

Miss. You mend it ! go, teach your 
Grannam to suck Eggs. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, you- are so cross, 
I could find in my Heart to hate you. 

Miss. With all my Heart ; there will 
be no Love lost between us. 

Neverout. But, pray, my Lady Smart, 
does not Miss look as if she could eat 
me without Salt ? 

Miss. I'll make you one Day sup Sor- 
row for this. 

Neverout. Well, follow your own Way, 
you'll live the longer. 

Miss. See, Madam, how well I have 
mended it. 

Lady Smart. 'Tis indifferent, as Doll 
danc'd. 

Neverout. 'Twill last as many Nights 
as Days. 



92 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Well, I knew, I should never 
have your good Word. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, my Lady 
Answer all and I was walking in the 
Park last Night till near Eleven ; 'twas 
a very fine Night. 

Neverout. Egad so was I ; and I'll tell 
you a comical Accident ; egad, I lost 
my Under-standing. 

Miss. I'm glad you had any to lose. 

Lady Smart. Well, but what do you 
mean? 

Neverout. Egad, I kick'd my Foot 
against a Stone, and tore off the Heel of 
my Shoe, and was forc'd to limp to a 
Cobler in the Pall Mall, to have it put 
on. He, he, he. \All laugh. 

Col. Oh ! 'twas a delicate Night to 
run away with another Man's Wife. 

[ Neverout sneezes. 

Miss. God bless you, if you ha'n't 
taken Snuff. 

Neverout. Why, what if I have. Miss ? 

Miss. Why, then, the Duce take you. 

Neverout. Miss, I want that Diamond- 
Ring of yours. 

Miss. Why, then, Want's like to be 
your Master. 



DIALOGUE I. 93 
[ Neverout looking at the Ring. 



Neverout. Ay, marry, this is not only 
but also ; where did you get it ? 

Miss. Why, where 'twas to be had ; 
where the Devil got the Friar. 

Neverout. Well ; if I had such a fine 
Diamond-Ring, I woudn't stay a Day 
in England : But you know, far-fetch'd 
and dear-bought is fit for Ladies. I 
warrant, this cost your Father Two- 
pence half-penny. 

[ Miss sitting between Neverout 

and the Colonel. 

Miss. Well ; here's a Rose between 
Two Nettles. 

Neverout. No, Madam ; with Submis- 
sion, here's a Nettle between Two Roses". 

[ Colonel stretching himself. 

Lady Smart. Why, Colonel, you break 
the King's Laws ; you stretch without a 
Halter. 

Lady Answ. Colonel, some Ladies of 
your Acquaintance have promis'd to 
breakfast with you, and I am to wait on 
them ; what will you give us ? 

Col. Why, faith, Madam, Batchelors 
Fare ; Bread and Cheese, and Kisses. 



94 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Answ. Poh! what have you 
Batchelors to do with your Money, but 
to treat the Ladies ? you have nothing 
to keep but your own Four Quarters. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, has Captain 
Brag the Honour to be related to your 
Lordship ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Very nearly. Madam ; 
he's my Cousin-German quite remov'd. 

Lady Answ. Pray, is he not rich? 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay, a rich Rogue, Two 
Shirts and a Rag. 

Col. Well, however, they say, he has a 
great Estate, but only the Right Owner 
keeps him out of it. 

Lady Smart. What Religion is he of? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, he is an Any- 
thingarian. 

Lady Answ. I believe, he has his Re- 
ligion to chuse, my Lord. 

[ Neverout scratcfus his Neck. 



Miss. Fie, Mr. Neverout, ar'n't you 
asham'd ! I beg Pardon for the Expres- 
sion, but I'm afraid, your Bosom-friends 
are become your Back-biters. 

Neverout. Well, Miss, I saw a Flea 

once on your Pinner, and a L is a 

Man's Companion, but a Flea is a Dog's 



DIALOGUE I. 95 

Companion : However, I wish, you would 
scratch my Neck with your pretty white 
Hand. 

Miss. And who would be Fool then? 
I wou'dn't touch a Man's Flesh for the 
Universe : You have the wrong Sow by 
the Ear, I assure you! that's Meat for 
your Master. 

Neverout. Miss Notable, all Quarrels 
laid aside, pray, step hither for a Mo- 
ment. 

Miss. I'll wash my Hands, and wait 
on you, Sir ; but, pray, come hither, and 
try to open this Lock. 

Neverout. We'll try what we can do. 

Miss. We : What, have you Figs 

in your Belly ? 

Neverout. Miss, I assure you, I am 
very handy at all Things. 

Miss. Marry, hang them that can't 
give themselves a good Word : I believe, 
you may have an even Hand to throw a 
L in the Fire. 

Col. Well, I must be plain ; here's a 
very bad Smell. 

Miss. Perhaps, Colonel, the Fox is the 
Finder. 

Neverout. No, Colonel ; 'tis only your 
Teeth against Rain : But 



96 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Colonel, I find, you would make 
a very bad poor Man's Sow. 

[ Colonel coughing. 

Col. I have got a sad Cold. 

Lady Answ. Ay ; 'tis well if one can 
get any thing these hard Times. 

Miss, [to C<7/.] Choak, Chicken ; there's 
more a hatching. 

Lady Smart. Pray, Colonel, how did 
you get that Cold ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Madam, I suppose, 
the Colonel got it, by lying a Bed bare- 
foot. 

Lady Answ. Why, then. Colonel, you 
must take it for better for worse, as a 
Man takes his Wife. 

Col. Well, Ladies, I apprehend you 
without a Constable. 

Miss. Mr. Never out ! Mr. Neverout ! 
come hither this Moment ! 

Lady Smart, {imitating her!\ Mr. 
Neverout, Mr. Neverout ! I wish, he were 
tied to your Girdle. 

Neverout. What's the Matter! whose 
Mare's dead now ? 

Miss. Take your Labour for your 
Pains ; you may go back again, like a 
Fool, as you came. 



DIALOGUE I. 97 

Neverout. Well, Miss ; if you deceive 
me a second time, 'tis my Fault. 

Lady Smart. Colonel, methinks your 
Coat is too short. 

Col. It will be long enough before I 
get another. Madam. 

Miss. Come, come ; the Coat's a good 
Coat, and come of good Friends. 

Neverout. Ladies, you are mistaken in 
the Stuff; 'tis half Silk. 

Col. Tom Neverout, you are a Fool, 
and that's your Fault. 

[ A great Noise below. 

Lady Smart. Hey ! what a Clattering 
is here ; one would think, Hell was broke 
loose. 

Miss. Indeed, Madam, I must take 
my Leave, for I a'n't well. 

Lady Smart. What ! you are sick of 
the Mulligrubs, with eating chopt Hay. 

Miss. No, indeed. Madam ; I'm sick 
and hungry, more need of a Cook than a 
Doctor. 

Lady Answ. Poor Miss, she's sick as a 
Cushion, she wants nothing but stuffing. 

Col. If you are sick, you shall have a 
Caudle of Calf's Eggs. 

Neverout. I can't find my Gloves. 
H 



98 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. I saw the Dog running away 
with some dirty thing awhile ago. 

Col. Miss, you have got my Handker- 
chief; pray, let me have it. 

Lady Smart. No, keep it, Miss ; for 
they say. Possession is Eleven Points of 
the Law. 

Miss. Madam, he shall ne'er have it 
again ; 'tis in Hucksters Hands. 

Lady Answ. What ! I see 'tis Raining 
again. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, then. Madam, we 
must do, as they do in Spain. 

Miss. Pray, my Lord, how is that ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Madam, we must 
let it rain. 

[ Miss whispers Lady Smart. 

Neverout. There's no Whispering, but 
there's Lying. 

Miss. Lord ! Mr. Neverout, you are as 
pert as a Pearmonger this Morning. 

Neverout. Indeed, Miss, you are very 
handsome. 

Miss. Poh ! I know that already ; tell 
me News. 

[ Somebody knocks at the Door. 

Footman comes in. 

Footman, [to Col.] An please your 



DIALOGUE I. 99 

Honour, there's a Man below wants to 
speak to you. 

Col. Ladies, your Pardon for a Minute. 
[Col. goes out. 

Lady Smart. Miss, I sent yesterday to 
know how you did, but you were gone 
abroad early. 

Miss. Why, indeed. Madam, I was 
hunch'd up in a Hackney-Coach with 
Three Country Acquaintance, who call'd 
upon me to take the Air as far as High- 
gate. 

Lady Smart. And had you a pleasant 
Airing ? 

Miss. No, Madam ; it rain'd all the 
Time ; I was jolted to Death, and the 
Road was so bad, that I scream'd every 
Moment, and call'd to the Coachman, 
Pray, Friend, don't spill us. 

Neverout. So, Miss, you were afraid, 
that Pride wou'd have a Fall. 

Miss. Mr. Neverout, when I want a 
Fool, I'll send for you. 

Ld. Sparkish. Miss, didn't your Left 
Ear burn last Night ? 

Miss. Pray, why, my Lord ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Because I was then in 
some Company where you were extoll'd 
to the Skies, I assure you. 



lOO POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. My Lord, that was more their 
Goodness, than my Desert. 

Ld. Sparkish. They said, that you 
were a complete Beauty. 

Miss. My Lord, I am as God made 
me. 
r Lady Smart. The Girl's well enough, 
\if she had but another Nose. 

Miss. Oh! Madam, I know L shall 
always have your good Word ; you love 
to help a lame Dog over the Style. 

[ One knocks, 

Lady Smart. Who's there ? you're on 
the wrong Side of the Door ; come in, if 
you be fat. 

[ Colonel comes in again. 



Ld. Sparkish. Why, Colonel, you are 
a Man of great Business. 

Col. Ay, ay, my Lord, I'm like my 
Lord Mayor's Fool ; full of Business, 
and nothing to do. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, don't you 
think the Colonel mightily fall'n away 
of late? 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay ; fall'n from a 
Horse-load to a Cart-load. 

Col. Why, my Lord, egad I am like a 



DIALOGUE I. lOI 

Rabbit, fat and lean in Four-and-twenty 
Hours. 

Lady Smart. I assure you, the Colonel 
walks as strait as a Pin. 

Miss. Yes ; he's a handsome-body'd 
Man in the Face. 

Neverout. A handsome Foot and Leg : 
God-a-mercy Shoe and Stocking ! 

Col. What ! Three upon One 1 that's 
foul Play : This wou'd make a Parson 
swear. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, what's the 
Matter ? You look as if you had 
neither won nor lost. 

Col. Why, you must know, Miss lives 
upon Love. 

Miss. Yes ; upon Love and Lumps of 
the Cupboard. 

Lady Answ. Ay ; they say. Love and 
Peas-porridge are two dangerous Things ; 
one breaks the Heart, and the other the 
Belly. 

Miss. [ imitating Lady Answerall'j 
Tone^ Very pretty ! One breaks the 
Heart, and the other the Belly. 

Lady Answ. Have a Care ; they say, 
mocking is catching. 

Miss. I never heard that. 

Neverout. Why, then. Miss, you have 



I02 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

a Wrinkle more than ever you had 

before. 

Miss. Well ; live and learn. 

Neverout. Ay ; and be hang'd, and 
forget all. 

Miss. Well, Mr. Neverout, take it as 
you please ; but I swear, you are a saucy 
Jack, to use such Expressions. 

Neverout. Why, then, Miss, if you go 
to that, I must tell you, there's ne'er a 
Jack but there's a Jill. 

Miss. Oh ! Mr. Neverout \ every body 
knows that you are the Pink of Courtesy. 

Neverout. And, Miss, all the World 
allows, that you are the Flower of 
Civility. 

Lady Smart. Miss, I hear there was 
a great deal of Company where you 
visited last Night: Pray, who were they? 

Miss. Why, there was old Lady For- 
ward, Miss To-and-again, Sir John Ogle, 
my Lady Clapper, and I, quoth the 
Dog. 

Col Was your Visit long, Miss ? 

Miss. Why, truly, they went all to the 
Opera ; and so poor Pilgarlick came 
Home alone. 

Neverout. Alack a day, poor Miss ! 
methinks it grieves me to pity you. 



DIALOGUE I, 103 

Miss. What, you think, you said a fine 
Thing now; well, if I had a Dog with no 
more Wit, I would hang him. 

Ld. Smart. Miss, if it be Manners, 
may I ask, which is oldest, you or 
Lady Scuttle ? 

Miss. Why, my Lord, when I die for 
Age, she may quake for Fear. 

Lady Smart. She's a very great Gadder 
abroad. 

Lady Answ. Lord ! she made me 
follow her last Week through all the 
Shops like a Tantiny Pig. 

Lady Smart. I remember, you told 
me, you had been with her from Dan to 
Beersheba. 

[ Colonel spits. 

Col. Lord ! I shall die ; I cannot spit 
from- me. 

Miss. Oh ! Mr. Neverout, my little 
Countess has just litter'd ; speak me fair, 
and I'll set you down for a Puppy. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, if I speak you 
fair, perhaps I mayn't tell Truth. 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay, but Tom, smoke 
that, she calls you Puppy by Craft. 

Neverout. Well, Miss, you ride the 
Fore-horse To-day. 



I04 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Ay, many a one says well, that 
thinks ill. 

Neverout. Fie, Miss ! you said that 
once before ; and, you know. Too much 
of one Thing is good for nothing. 

Miss. Why, sure, we can't say a good 
Thing too often. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, so much for that, 
and Butter for Fish ; let us call another 
Cause : Pray, Madam, does your Lady- 
ship know Mrs. Nice ? 

Lady Smart. Perfectly well, my Lord ; 
she's nice by Name, and nice by Nature. 

Ld. Sparkish. Is it possible, she 
could take that Booby Tom Blunder for 
Love? 

Miss. She had good Skill in Horse- 
flesh, that could chuse a Goose to ride 
on. 

Lady Answ. Why, my Lord, 'twas her 
Fate ; they say, Marriage and Hanging 
go by Destiny. 

CoL I believe she'll never be burnt for 
a Witch. 

Ld. Sparkish. They say. Marriages are 
made in Heaven ; but I doubt, when she 
was married, she had no Friend there. 

Neverout. Well, she's got out of God's 
Blessing into the warm Sun. 



DIALOGUE I. 105 

Col. The Fellow's well enough, if he 
had any Guts in his Brains. 

Lady Smart. They say, thereby hangs 
a Tale. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, he's a mere Hob- 
bledehoy, neither a Man nor a Boy. 

Miss. Well, if I were to chuse a Hus- 
band, I would never be married to a 
little Man. 

Neverout. Pray, why so. Miss? for 
they say, of all Evils we ought to chuse 
the least. 

Miss. Because Folks would say, when 
they [saw us together, There goes the 
Woman and her Husband. 

Col. \to Lady Smart7[ Will your Lady- 
ship be on the Mall To-morrow Night ? 

Lady Smart. No, that won't be proper ; 
you know. To-morrow's Sunday? 

Ld. Sparkish. What then. Madam ! 
they say, the better Day, the better 
Deed. 

Lady Answ. Pray, Mr. Neverout, how 
do you like Lady Fruzz ? 

Neverout. Pox on her ! she's as old as 
Poles. 

Miss. So will you be, if you ben't 
hang'd when you're young. 

Neverout. Come, Miss, let us be 



I06 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Friends : Will you go to the Park this 
Evening ? 

Miss. With all my Heart, and a Piece 
of my Liver ; but not with you. 

Lady Smart. I'll tell you one thing, 
and that's not two ; I'm afraid I shall 
get a Fit of the Headach To-day. 

Col. Oh ! Madam, don't be afraid, it 
comes with a Fright. 

Miss, [to Lady Answ.\ Madam, one 
of your Ladyship's Lappets is longer than 
t'other. 

Lady Answ. Well, no Matter ; they 
that ride on a trotting Horse will ne'er 
perceive it. 

Neverout. Indeed, Miss, your Lappets 
hang worse. 

Miss. Well, I love a Lyar in my H-eart, 
and you fit me to a Hair. 



[ Miss rises up.— — 

Neverout. Duce take you. Miss! you 
trod on my Foot : I hope you don't in- 
tend to come to my Bedside. 

Miss. In Troth, you are afraid of 
your Friends, and none of them near 
you. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well said. Girl ! [giving 
her a Chuck.] Take that ; they say, a 



DIALOGUE I. 107 

Chuck under the Chin is worth Two 
Kisses. 

Lady Answ. But, Mr. Neverout, I won- 
der why such a handsome, strait, young 
Gentleman as you, do not get some rich 
Widow. 

Ld. Sparkish. Strait ! Ay, strait as my 
Leg, and that's crooked at Knee. 

Neverout. Faith, Madam, if it rain'd rich 
Widows, none of them would fall upon 
me. Egad, I was born under a Three- 
penny Planet, never to be worth a Groat. 

Lady Answ. No, Mr. Neverout ; I be- 
lieve you were born with a Cawl on your 
Head ; you are such a Favourite among 
the Ladies : But what think you of 
Widow Prim ? she's immensely rich. 

Neverout. Hang her ! they say, her 
Father was a Baker. 

Lady Smart. Ay ; but it is not what is 
she ? but what has she ? now-a-days. 

Col. Tom, faith, put on a bold Face 
for once, and have at the Widow. I'll 
speak a good Word for you to her. 

Lady Answ. Ay ; I warrant, you'll 
speak one Word for him, and two for 
yourself 

Miss. Well ; I had that at my Tongue's 
End. 



I08 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Answ. Why, Miss, they say, good 
Wits jump. 

Neverout. Faith, Madam, I had rather 
marry a Woman I lov'd, in her Smock, 
than Widow Prim, if she had her Weight 
in Gold. 

Lady Smart. Come, come, Mr. Never- 
out ; Marriage is honourable, but House- 
keeping is a Shrew. 

Lady Answ. Consider, Mr. Neverout, 
Four bare Legs in a Bed ; and you are 
a younger Brother. 

Col. Well, Madam ; the younger 
Brother is the better Gentleman : How- 
ever, Tom, I would advise you to look 
before you leap. 

Ld. Sparkish. The Colonel says true ; 
Besides, you can't expect to wive and 
thrive in the same Year. 

Miss. \shuddering.'\ Lord ! there's 
somebody walking over my Grave. 

Col. Pray, Lady Answerall, where was 
you last Wednesday, when I did myself 
the Honour to wait on you ? I think, 
your Ladyship is one of the Tribe of 
Gad. 

Lady Answ. Why, Colonel, I was at 
Church. 

Col. Nay, then will I be hang'd, and 
my Horse too. 



DIALOGUE I. log 

Neverout. I believe her Ladyship was 
at a Church with a Chimney in it. 

Miss. Lord, my Petticoat! how it 
hangs by Jommetry. 

Neverout. Perhaps the Fault may be 
in your Shape. 

Miss, {looking gravely.'\ Come, Mr. 
Neverout, there's no Jest like the true 
Jest ; but, I suppose, you think my Back's 
broad enough to bear every Thing. 

Neverout. Madam, I humbly beg your 
Pardon. 

Miss. Well, Sir, your Pardon's granted. 

Neverout. Well, all Things have an 
End, and a Pudden has two, up-up-on 
my-my-my Word, {stutters?}^ 

Miss. What ! Mr. Neverout, can't you 
speak without a Spoon ? 

Ld. Sparkish. [to Lady Smart.] Has 
your Ladyship seen the Duchess since 
your falling out ? 

Lady Smart. Never, my Lord, but 
once at a Visit ; and she look'd at me, as 
the Devil look'd over Lincoln. 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, take a Pinch of 
my Snuff. 

Miss. What! you break my Head, 
and give me a Plaister ; well, with all my 
Heart ; once, and not use it. 



110 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. Well, Miss ; if you wanted 
me and your Victuals, you'd want your 
Two best Friends. 

Col. [to Neverout.] Tom, Miss and you 
must kiss, and be Friends. 

[Neverout salutes Miss. 

Miss. Any thing for a quiet Life : my 
Nose itch'd, and I knew I should drink 
Wine, or kiss a Fool. 

Col. Well, Tom, if that ben't fair, hang 
fair. 

Neverout. I never said a rude Thing to 
a Lady in my Life. 

Miss. Here's a Pin for that Lye ; I'm 
sure Lyars had need of good Memories. 
Pray, Colonel, was not he very uncivil to 
me but just now ? 

Lady Answ. Mr. Neverout, if Miss will 
be angry for nothing, take my Council, 
and bid her turn the Buckle of her Girdle 
behind her. 

Neverout. Come, Lady Answerall, I 
know better Things ; Miss and I are good 
Friends ; don't put Tricks upon Travellers. 

Col. Tom, not a Word of the Pudden, 
I beg you. 

Lady Smart. Ah, Colonel ! you'll never 
be good, nor then neither. , 



DIALOGUE I. Ill 

Ld. Sparkish. Which of the Goods d'ye 
mean ? good for something, or good for 
nothing ? 

Miss. I have a Blister on my Tongue ; 
yet, I don't remember, I told a Lye. 

Lady Answ. I thought you did just 
now. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Madam, what 
did Thought do ? 

Lady Answ. Well, for my Life, I can- 
not conceive what your Lordship means. 

Ld. Sparkish. Indeed, Madam, I meant 
no Harm. 

Lady Smart. No, to be sure, my Lord ! 
you are as innocent as a Devil of Two 
Years old. 

Neverout. Madam, they say, ill Doers 
are ill Deemers : but I don't apply it to 
your Ladyship. 

[Miss mendtng a Hole in her Lace. 

Miss. Well, you see, I'm mending ; I 
hope I shall be good in time ; look. Lady 
Answerall, is not it well mended ? 

Lady Answ. Ay, this is something 
like a Tansy. 

Neverout. Faith, Miss, you have mended 
it, as a Tinker mends a Kettle ; stop one 
Hole, and make two. 



112 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. Pray, Colonel, are not 
you very much tann'd ? 

Col. Yes, Madam ; but a Cup of Christ- 
mas Ale will soon wash it off. 

Ld. Sparkish. Lady Smart, does not 
your Ladyship think, Mrs. Fade is 
mightily alter'd since her Marriage ? 

Lady Answ. Why, my Lord, she was 
handsome in her Time ; but she cannot 
eat her Cake, and have her Cake : I hear 
see's grown a mere Otomy. 

Lady Smart. Poor Creature ! the Black 
has set his Foot upon her already. 

Miss. Ay ! she has quite lost the Blue 
on the Plumb. 

Lady Smart. And yet, they say, her 
Husband is very fond of her still. 

Lady Answ. Oh ! Madam ; if she 
would eat Gold, he would give it her. 

Neverout. [to Lady Smart.] Madam, 
have you heard, that Lady Queasy was 
lately at the Playhouse incog. ? 

Lady Smart. What ! Lady Queasy 
of all Women in the World ! Do you 
say it upon Rep ? 

Neverou Lfr^,_ I saw her with my own 
Eyes ; sh^ sat among the Mob in the 
Gallery ; her own ugly Fiz : And she saw 
me look at her. 



DIALOGUE I. 113 

Col. Her Ladyship was plaguily 
bamb'd ; I warrant, it put her into the 
Hipps. 

Neverout. I smoked her huge Nose, 
and egad she put me in mind of the 
Woodcock, that strives to hide his long 
Bill, and then thinks nobody sees him. 

Col. Tom, I advise you hold your 
Tongue ; for you'll never say so good a 
Thing again. 

Lady Smart. Miss, what are you look- 
ing for ? 

Miss. Oh ! Madam ; I have lost the 
finest Needle 

Lady Answ. Why, seek till you find 
it, and then you won't lose your Labour. 

Neverout. The Loop of my Hat is 
broke; how shall I mend it? {he fastens 
it with a Pini\ Well, hang them, say I, 
that has no Shift. 

Miss. Ay, and hang him, that has one 
too many. 

Neverout. Oh ! Miss ; I have heard a 
sad Story of you. 

Miss. I defy you, Mr. Neverout ; no- 
body can say. Black's my Eye. 

Neverout. I believe, you wish they 
could. 

Miss. Well ; but who v/as your 
I 



U4 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Author? Come, tell Truth, and shame 
the Devil. 

Neverout. Come then, Miss ; guess 
who it was that told me ; come, put on 
your Considering-cap. 

Miss. Well, who was it ? 
, Neverout. Why, one that lives within 
^ Mile of an Oak. 

Miss. Well, go hang yourself in your 
own Garters ; for I'm sure, the Gallows 
groans for you. 

Neverout. Pretty MissJJjaas but in Jest. 

Miss. Well, but don't let that stick Tn 
your Gizzard. 

Col. My Lord, does your Lordship 
know Mrs. Talkall? 

Ld. Smart. Only by Sight ; but I hear 
she has a great deal of Wit ; and egad, 
as the Saying is. Mettle to the Back. 

Lady Smart. So I hear. 

Col. Why Dick Lubber said to her 
t'other Day, Madam, you can't cry Bo 
to a Goose : Yes, but I can, said she ; 
and, egad, cry'd Bo full in his Face : We 
all thought we should break our Hearts 
with laughing. 

Ld. Sparkish. That was cutting with 
a Vengeance : and pr'ythee how did the 
Fool look ? 



DIALOGUE I. 115 

Col. Look ? Egad he look'd for all the 
World like an Owl in an Ivy Bush. 

\A Child comes in screaming. 

Miss. Well, if that Child was mine, 
I'd whip it till the Blood came ; Peace, 
you little Vixen ! if I were near you, I 
would not be far from you. 

Lady Smart. Ay, ay ; Batchelors 
Wives and Maids Children are finely 
tutor'd. 

Lady Answ. Come to me, Master ; and 
I'll give you a Sugar-Plumb. Why, Miss, 
you forgot that ever you was a Child 
yourself. \_She gives the Child a Lump 
of Sugar."] I have heard 'em say. Boys 
will long. 

Col. My Lord, I suppose you know, 
that Mr. Buzzard has married again ? 

Lady Smart. This is his Fourth Wife ; 
then he has been shod round. 

Col. Why, you must know, she had a 
Month's Mind to Dick Frontless, and 
thought to run away with him ; but her 
Parents forc'd her to take the old Fellow 
for a good Settlement. 

Ld. Sparkish. So the Man got his 
Mare again. 

Ld. Smart. I'm told he said a very 



Il6 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

good thing to Dick ; said he, You think 
us old Fellows are Fools ; but we old 
Fellows know young Fellows are Fools. 

Col. I know nothing of that ; but I 
know, he's devilish old, and she's very 
young. 

Lady Answ. Why, they call that a 
Match of the World's making. 

Miss. What if he had been young, and 
she old ? 

Neverout. Why, Miss, that would have 
been a Match of the Devil's making; 
but when both are young, that's a Match 
of God's making. 

[Miss searching her Pockets for her 
Thimble, brings out a Nutmeg. 

Neverout. Oh ! Miss, have a Care ; for 
if you carry a Nutmeg in your Pocket, 
you'll certainly be marry'd to an old 
Man. 

Miss. Well, and if ever I be marry'd, it 
shall be to an old Man ; they always 
make the best Husbands ; and it is 
better to be an old Man's Darling than 
a young Man's Warling. 

Neverout. Faith, Miss, if you speak as 
you think, I'll give you my Mother for a 
Maid. 



DIALOGUE I. 117 

[Lady Smart rings the Bell. 
Footman comes in. 

Lady Smart. Harkee, you Fellow ; run 
to my Lady Match, and desire she will 
remember to be here at Six, to play at 
Quadrille : D'ye hear, if you fall by the 
Way, don't stay to get up again. 

Footman. Madam, I don't know the 
House. 

Lady Smart. Well, that's not for Want 
of Ignorance ; follow your Nose ; go, 
enquire among the Servants. 

[Footman goes out, and leaves the Door 
open. 

Lady Smart. Here, come back, you 
Fellow ; why did you leave the Door 
open ? Remember, that a good Servant 
must always come when he's call'd, do 
what he's bid, and shut the Door after 
him. 

\Tlie Footman goes out again, and falls 
down Stairs. 

Lady Answ. Neck or nothing ; come 
down, or I'll fetch you down : Well, but 
I hope, the poor Fellow has not sav'd 
the Hangman a Labour. 

Neverout. Pray, Madam, smoke Miss 



Il8 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

yonder biting her Lips, and playing with 
her Fan. 

Miss. Who's that takes my Name in 
vain? 

[Ske runs up to them, and falls down. 

Lady Smart. What, more falling! do 
you intend the Frolick should go round ? 

Lady Answ. Why, Miss, I wish you' 
may not have broke her Ladyship's 
Floor. 

Neverout. Miss, come to me, and I'll 
take you up. 

Lady Sparkish. Well, but without a 
Jest, I hope. Miss, you are not hurt. 

Col. Nay, she must be hurt for cer- 
tain ; for you see, her Head is all of a 
Lump. 

Miss. Well, remember this, Colonel, 
when I have Money, and you have 
none. 

Lady Smart. But, Colonel, when do 
you design to get a House, and a Wife, 
and a Fire to put her in ? 

Miss. Lord ! who would be marry'd to 
a Soldier, and carry his Knapsack ? 

Neverout. Oh ! Madam : Mars and 
Venus, you know. 

Col. Egad, Madam, I'd marry To- 



DIALOGUE I. 119 

morrow, if I thought I could bury my 
Wife just when the Honey-Moon is 
over ; but they say, A Woman has as 
many Lives as a Cat. 

Lady Answ. I find, the Colonel thinks, 
a dead Wife under the Table is the best 
Goods in a Man's House. 

Lady Smart. O but. Colonel, if you 
had a good Wife, it would break your 
Heart to part with her. 

Col. Yes, Madam ; for they say, he 
that has lost his Wife and Sixpence, has 
lost a Tester. 

Lady Smart. But, Colonel, they say, 
that every marry'd Man should believe 
there's but one good Wife in the World, 
and that's his own. 

Col. For all that, I doubt, a good Wife 
must be bespoke, for there is none ready 
made. 

Miss. I suppose, the Gentleman's a 
Woman-Hater; but. Sir, I think, you 
ought to remember, that you had a 
Mother : And pray, if it had not been 
for a Woman, where would you have 
been. Colonel ? 

Col. Nay, Miss, you cry'd W e first, 

when you talk'd of the Knapsack. 

Lady Answ. But I hope you won't 



I20 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

blame the whole Sex, because some are 
bad. 

Neverout: And they say, he that hates 
Woman, suck'd a Sow. 

Col. Oh ! Madam ; there's no general 
Rule without an Exception. 

Lady Smart. Then, why don't you 
marry, and settle ? 

Col. Egad, Madam, there's nothing 
will settle me but a Bullet. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, Colonel, there's 
one Comfort, that you need not fear a 
Cannon-Bullet. 

Col. Why so, my Lord ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Because they say, he 
was curs'd in his Mother's Belly, that 
was kill'd by a Cannon-Bullet. 

Miss. I suppose, the Colonel was 
cross'd in his first Love, which makes 
him so severe on all the Sex. 

Lady Answ. Yes ; and I'll hold a 
hundred to one, that the Colonel has 
been over Head and Ears in Love with 
some Lady, that has made his Heart 
ake. 

Col Oh ! Madam, We Soldiers are 
Admirers of all the fair Sex. 

Miss. I wish, I could see the Colonel 
in Love, till he was ready to die. 



DIALOGUE I. 121 

Lady Smart. Ay ; but I doubt, few 
People die for Love in these days. 

Neverout. Well, I confess, I differ from 
the Colonel ; for I hope to have a rich 
and a handsome Wife yet before I die. 

Col. Ay, Tom ; live Horse, and thou 
shalt have Grass. 

Miss. Well, Colonel ; but whatever 
you say against Women, they are better 
Creatures than Men ; for Men were 
made of Clay, but Woman was made of 
Man. 

Col. Miss, you may say what you 
please ; but, faith, you'll never lead Apes 
in Hell. 

Neverout. No, no ; I'll be sworn Miss 
has not an Inch of Nun's Flesh about 
her. 

Miss. I understumble you. Gentlemen. 

Neverout. Madam, your humble-cum- 
dumble. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Miss, when did 
you see your old Acquaintance Mrs. 
Cloudy ? You and She are Two, I hear. 

Miss. See her ! marry, I don't care 
whether I ever see her again ; God bless 
my Eye-sight. 

Lady Answ. Lord ! why she and you 
were as great as two Inkle-weavers. I've 



122 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

seen her hug you, as the Devil hug'd the 
Witch. 

Miss. That's true ; but I'm told for cer- 
tain, she's no better than she should be. 
Lady Smart. Well, God mend us all ; 
but you must allow, the World is very 
censorious : I never heard that she was 
a naughty Pack. 

Col. [to Neverouti\ Come, Sir Thomas, 
when the King pleases ; when do you 
intend to march ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Have Patience. Tom, is 
your Friend Ned Rattle marry'd ? 

Neverout. Yes, faith, my Lord ; he has 
tied a Knot with his Tongue, that he 
can never untie with his Teeth. 

Lady Smart. Ay ; marry in Haste, 
and repent at Leisure. 

Lady Answ. Has he got a good For- 
tune with his Lady ? for they say, Some- 
thing has some Savour, but Nothing has 
no Flavour. 

Neverout. Faith, Madam, all he gets 
by her, he may put into his Eye, and 
see never the worse. 

Miss. Then, I believe, he heartily 
wishes her in Abraham's Bosom. 

Col. Pray, my Lord, how does Charles 
Limber and his fine Wife agree ? 



DIALOGUE I. 123 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, they say, he's the 
greatest Cuckold in Town. 

Neverout. Oh ! but my Lord, you 
should always except my Lord-Mayor. 

Miss. Mr. Neverout ! 

Neverout. Hay, Madam, did you call 
me? P 

Miss. Hay ; why. Hay is for Horses. -.^ \ 

Neverout. Why, Miss, then you may 



kiss 

Col. Pray, my Lord, what's a Clock 
by your Oracle ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Faith, I can't tell, I 
think my Watch runs upon Wheels. 

Neverout. Miss, pray be so kind to 
call a Servant to bring me a Glass of 
Small Beer : I know you are at Home 
here. 

Miss. Every Fool can do as they're 
bid : Make a Page of your own Age, and 
do it yourself. 

Neverout. Chuse, proud Fool ; I did 
but ask you. 

[Miss puts her Hand to her Knee. 

Neverout. What ! Miss, are you think- 
ing of your Sweet-Heart ? is your Garter 
slipping down ? 

Miss. Pray, Mr. Neverout, keep your 



124 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Breath to cool your Porridge ; you mea- 
sure my Corn by your Bushel. 

Neverout. Indeed, Miss, you lye. 

Miss. Did you ever hear any thing so 
rude? 

Neverout. I mean, you lye under 

a Mistake. 

Miss. If a thousand Lyes could choak 
you, you would have been choaked many 
a Day ago. 

[Miss tries to snatch Neverout'j 
Snuff-box. 

Neverout. Madam, you miss'd that, as 
you miss'd your Mother's Blessing. 

\She tries again, and misses. 

Neverout. Snap short makes you look 
so lean. Miss. 

Miss. Poh ! you are so robustious, you 
had like to put out my Eye : I assure 
you, if you blind me, you must lead me. 

Lady Smart. Dear Miss, be quiet ; 
and bring me a Pin-cushion out of that 
Closet. 

[Miss opens the Closet Door, and squalls. 

Lady Smart. Lord bless the Girl ! 
what's the Matter now ? 



DIALOGUE I. 125 

Miss. I vow, Madam, I saw something 
in black, I thought it was a Spirit. 

Col. Why, Miss, did you ever see a 
Spirit ? 

Miss. No, Sir ; I thank God, I never 
saw any thing worse than myself. 

Neverout. Well, I did a very foolish 
thing yesterday, and was a great Puppy 
for my Pains. 

Miss. Very likely ; for, they say, many 
a true Word's spoke in Jest. 

[Footman returns. 

Lady Smart. Well, did you deliver 
your Message ? You are fit to be sent 
for Sorrow, you stay so long by the 
Way. 

Footman. Madam, my Lady was not 
at Home, so I did not leave the Message. 

Lady Smart. This is it to send a Fool 
of an Errand. 

Ld. Sparkish. [looking at his Watck.] 
'Tis past Twelve a Clock. 

Lady Smart. Well, what is that among 
all us ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Madam, I must take my 
Leave : Come, Gentlemen, are you for a 
March ? 

Lady Smart. Well, but your Lordship 



126 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

and the Colonel will dine with us To-day ; 
and, Mr. Neverout, I hope, we shall have 
your good Company : There will be no 
Soul else, besides my own Lord and these 
Ladies ; for every body knows, I hate a 
Croud ; I would rather want Vittles than 
Elbow-Room : We dine punctually at 
Three. 

Ld. Sparkish. Madam, we'll be sure to 
attend your Ladyship. 

Col. Madam, my Stomach serves me 
instead of a Clock. 

[Another Footman comes back. 

Lady Smart. Oh ! you are the t'other 
Fellow 1 sent : Well, have you been with 
my Lady Club ? You are good to send 
of a dead Man's Errand. 

Footman. Madam, my Lady Club begs 
your Ladyship's Pardon ; but she is en- 
gaged To-night. 

Miss. Well, Mr. Neverout, here's the 
Back of my Hand to you. 

Neverout. Miss, I find, you will have 
the last Word. Ladies, I am. more yours 
than my own. 



POLITE CONVERSATION, 

ETC. 

DIALOGUE II. 

Lord Smart and the former Company at 
Three a Clock coming to dine. 

\After Salutations. 

Lord Smart. I'm sorry I was not at 
Home this Morning when you all did us 
the Honour to call here : But I went to 
the Levee To-day. 

Ld. Sparkish. Oh ! my Lord ; I'm sure ^, 
the Loss was ours. ^ 

Lady Smart. Gentlemen and Ladies, 
you are come to a sad dirty House ; I 
am sorry for it, but we have had our 
Hands in Mortar. 

Ld. Sparkish. Oh ! Madam ; your 
Ladyship is pleas'd to say so, but I never 
saw any thing so clean and so fine ; I 
profess, it is a perfect Paradise. 



128 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, your Lordship 
is always very obliging. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Madam, whose 
Picture is that ? 

Lady Smart. Why, my Lord, it was 
drawn for me. 

Ld Sparkish. I'll swear, the Painter 
didlTOt flatter your Ladyship. 

Col. My Lord, the Day is iinely clear'd 
up. 

Ld. Smart. Ay, Colonel ; 'tis a pity 
that fair Weather should ever do any 
Harm. \To Neverout.'] Why, Tom, you 
are high in the Mode. 

Neverout. My Lord, it is better be 
out of the World, than out of the 
Fashion. 

Ld. Smart. But, Tom, I hear, You and 
Miss are always quarrelling ; I fear, it is 
your Fault ; for I can assure you, she is 
very good-humour'd. 

Neverout. Ay, my Lord ; so is the 
Devil when he's pleas'd. 

Ld. Smart. Miss, what do you think of 
my Friend Tom ? 

Miss. My Lord, I think, he's not the 
wisest Man in the World ; and truly, he's 
sometimes very rude. 

Ld. Sparkish. That may be true ; but. 



DIALOGUE II. 129 

yet, he that hangs Tom for a Fool, may 
find a Knave in the Halter. 

Miss. Well, however, I wish he were 
hang'd, if it were only to try. 

Neverout. Well, Miss, if I must be 
hang'd, I won't go far to chuse my 
Gallows ; it shall be about your fair Neck. 

Miss. I'll see your Nose Cheese first, 
and the Dogs eating it : But, my Lord, 
Mr. Neverout^ Wit begins to run low, for 
I vow, he said this before : Pray, Colonel, 
give him a Pinch, and I'll do as much for 
you. 
^ Ld. Sparkish. My> Lady Smart, your 
\ Ladyship has a very fine Scarf. 

Lady Smart. Yes, my Lord ; it will 
make a flaming Figure in a Country 
Church. 

[Footman comes in. 

Footman. Madam, Dinner's upon the 
Table. 
\ Col. Faith, I'm glad of it ; my Belly / 

began to cry Cupboard.__ Jy 

A Neverout. I wish I may never~Tiear 
, worse News. 

Miss. What ! Mr. Neverout, you are in 
great Haste ; I believe, your Belly thinks 
your Throat's cut. 

K "^ 



I30 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. No, faith, Miss ; Three 
Meals a Day, and a good Supper at 
Night, will serve my Turn. 

Miss. To say the Truth, I'm hungry. 

Neverout. And I'm angry, so let us 
both go fight. 

[ They go in to Dinner, and after the usual 
Compliments, take their Seats. 

Lady Smart. Ladies and Gentlemen, 
will you eat any Oysters before Dinner ? 

Col. With all my Heart. \Takes an 
Oyster^ He was a bold Man, that first 
eat an Oyster. 

Lady Smart. They say, Oysters are a 
cruel Meat, because we eat them alive : 
Then they are an uncharitable Meat, for 
we leave nothing to the Poor ; and they 
are an ungodly Meat, because we never 
say Grace. 

Neverout. Faith, that's as well said, as 
if I had said it myself 

Lady Smart. Well, we are well set, if 
we be but as well serv'd : Come, Colonel, 
handle your Arms ; shall I help you to 
some Beef? 

Col. If your Ladyship please ; and, 
pray, don't cut like a Mother-in-Law, 
but send me a large Slice ; for I love to 



DIALOGUE II. 131 

lay a good Foundation. I vow, 'tis a 
noble Sirloyn. 

Neverout. Ay ; here's cut, and come 
again. 

Miss. But, pray, why is it call'd a Sir- 
loyn ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, you must know, 
that our King James the First, who lov'd 
good Eating, being invited to Dinner by 
one of his Nobles, and seeing a large 
Loyn of Beef at his Table, he drew out 
his Sword, and in a Frolic knighted 
it. Few People know the Secret of 
this. 

Ld. Sparkish. Beef is Man's Meat, my 
Lord. 

Ld. Smart. But, my Lord, I say, Beef 
is the King of Meat. 

Miss. Pray, what have I done, that I 
must not have a Plate ? 

Lady Smart. \to Lady Answ.] What 
will your Ladyship please to eat ? 

Lady Answ. Pray, Madam, help your- 
self 

Col. They say. Eating and Scratching 
wants but a Beginning : If you will give 
me Leave, I'll help myself to a Slice of 
this Shoulder of Veal. 

Lady Smart. Colonel, you can't do a 



132 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

kinder thing : Well, you are all heartily 
welcome, as I may say. 

Col. They say, there are Thirty-and- 
two good Bits in a Shoulder of Veal. 

Lady Smart. Ay, Colonel ; Thirty bad 
Bits, and Two good ones : you see, I 
understand you ; but I hope, you have 
got one of the two good ones. 

Neverout. Colonel, I'll be of your 
Mess. 

f^ Col. Then, pray, Tom, carve for your- 
self : They say. Two Hands in a Dish, 
and One in a Purse : Hah, said I well, 
-^ Tom ? 

Neverout. Colonel, you spoke like an 
Oracle. 

Miss, [to Lady Answ.] Madam, will 
your Ladyship help me to some Fish ? 

Ld. Smart, [to Neverout.'] Tom, they 
say. Fish should swim thrice. 

Neverout. How is that, my Lord ? 

Ld. Smart. Why, Tom, first it should 
swim in the Sea, (do you mind me ?) then 
it should swim in Butter; and at last. 
Sirrah, it should swim in good Claret. I 
think, I have made it out. 

Footman [to Ld. Smart.] My Lord, 
'SAx John Lingerie coming up. 

Ld. Smart. God so ! I invited him to 



DIALOGUE n, 133 

dine with me To-day, and forgot it : 
Well, desire him to walk in. 

[Sir John Linger comes in. 

Sir John. What ! are you at it ? Why, 
then, I'll be gone. 

Lady Smart. Sir John, I beg you will 
sit down : Come, the more the merrier. 

Sir John. Ky ; but the fewer the better 
Cheer. 

Lady Smart. Well, I am the worst in 
the World at making Apologies ; it was 
my Lord's Fault : I doubt you must kiss 
the Hare's Foot. 

Sir John. I see you are fast by the 
Teeth. 

Col. Faith, Sir John, we are killing 
that, that would kill us. 

Ld. Sparkish. You see, Sir John, we 
are upon a Business of Life and Death : 
Come, will you do as we do? You are 
come in Pudden-Time. 

Sir John. Ay ; this would you be 
doing if I were dead. What ! you keep 
Court-Hours I see : I'll be going, and 
get a Bit of Meat at my Inn. 

Lady Smart. Why, we won't eat you, 
Sir John. 

Sir John. It is my own Fault ; but 



134 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

I was kept by a Fellow who bought some 
Derbyshire Oxen from me. 

Neverout. You see, Sir John, we stay'd 
for you, as one Horse does for another. 

Lady Smart. My Lord, will you help 
Sit John to some Beef? 'La.dy Answeral/, 
pray, eat, you see your Dinner : I am sure, 
if we had known we should have such 
good Company, we should have been 
better provided ; but you must take the 
Will for the Deed. I'm afraid you are 
invited to your Loss. 

Col. And, pray. Sir John, how do you 
like the Town ? You have been absent 
a long Time. 

Sir John. Why, I find, little London 
stands just where it did when I left it last. 

Neverout. What do you think of Han- 
nover-Square? Why, Sir John, London 
is gone out of Town since you saw it. 

Lady Smart. Sir John, I can only say, 
you are heartily welcome ; and I wish I 
had something better for you. 

Col. Here's no Salt ; Cuckolds will run 
away with the Meat. 

Ld. Smart. Pray, edge a little, to make 
more Room for Sir John : Sir John, fall 
to, you know Half an Hour is soon lost 
at Dinner. 



DIALOGUE II. 13s 

Sir John. I protest I can't eat a Bit, 
for I took Share of a Beef-stake and 
Two Muggs of Ale with my Chapman, 
besides a Tankard ol March Beer, as soon 
as I got out of Bed. 

Lady Answ. Not fresh and fasting, I 
hope? 

Sir John. Yes, faith. Madam; I always 
wash my Kettle before I put the Meat 
in it. 

Lady Smart. Poh ! Sir John ; you 
have seen Nine Houses since you eat 
last : Come, you have kept a Corner of 
your Stomach for a Piece of Venison- 
Pasty. 

Sir John. Well, I'll try what I can do, 
when it comes up. 

Lady Answ. Come, Sir John, you may 
go further, and fare worse. 

Miss. \to NeveroutI\ Pray, Mr. Never- 
out, will you please to send me a Piece of 
Tongue ? 

Neverout. By no means, Madam ; one 
Tongue's enough for a Woman. 

Col. Miss, here's a Tongue that never 
told a Lye. 

Miss. That was, because it could not 
speak. Why, Colonel, I never told a Lye 
in my Life. 



136 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. I appeal to all the Company, 
whether that be not the greatest Lye that 
ever was told. 

Col. [to Neverout^ Pr'ythee, Tom, send 
me the Two Legs and Rump and Liver 
of that Pigeon ; for, you must know, I 
love what nobody else loves. 

Neverout. But what if any of the Ladies 
should long ? Well, here take it, and the 
D — 1 do you good with it. 

Lady Answ. Well ; this Eating and 
Drinking takes away a body's Stomach. 

Neverout. I am sure I have lost mine. 

Miss. What ! the Bottom of it, I sup- 
pose. 

Neverout. No, really. Miss ; I have 
quite lost it. 

Miss. I should be very sorry a poor 
body had found it. 

Lady Smart. But, Sir John, we hear 
you are marry'd since we saw you last : 
What ! you have stolen a Wedding it 
seems. 

Sir John. Well ; one can't do a foolish 
thing once in one's Life, but one must 
hear of it a hundred times. 

Col. And pray, Sir John, how does 
your Lady unknown ? 

Sir John. My Wife's well. Colonel ; 



DIALOGUE II. 137 

and at your Service in a civil way. Ha, 
ha, [he laughs. 

Miss. Pray, Sir John, is your Lady tall 
or short ? 

Sir John. Why, Miss, I thank God, 
she is a Little Evil. 

Ld. Sparkish. Come, give me a Glass 
of Claret. 

' [Footman Jills him a Bumper. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why do you fill so much? 

Neverout. My Lord, he fills as he loves 
you. 

Lady Smart. Miss, shall I send you 
some Cowcomber? 

Miss. Madam, I dare not touch it ; 
for they say, Cowcombers are cold in the 
third Degree. 

Lady Smart. M.X. Neverout, do you love 
Pudden ? 

Neverout. Madam, I'm like all Fools, I 
love every thing that is good ; but the 
Proof of the Pudden is in the Eating. 

Col. Sir John, I hear you are a great 
Walker when you are at Home. 

Sir John. No, faith, Colonel ; I always 
love to walk with a Horse in my Hand : 
But I have had devilish bad Luck in 
Horse-flesh of late. 



138 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Ld. Smart. Why then, Sir John, you 
must kiss a Parson's Wife. 

Lady Smart. They say, Sir John, that 
your Lady has a great deal of Wit. 

Sir John. Madam, she can make a 
Pudden ; and has just Wit enough to 
know her Husband's Breeches from ano- 
ther Man's. 

Lady Smart, My Lord Sparkish, I 
have some excellent Cyder, will you 
please to taste it ? 

Ld. Sparkish. My Lord, I should like 
it well enough, if it were not so trea- 
cherous. 

Ld. Smart. Pray, my Lord, how is it 
treacherous ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Because it smiles in my 
Face, and cuts my Throat. [Here a loud 
laugh."] 

Miss. Odd-so ! Madam ; your Knives 
are very sharp, for I have cut my Finger. 

Lady Smart. I am sorry for it ; pray, 
which Finger? (God bless the Mark.) 

Miss. Why, this Finger : No, 'tis this : 
I vow I can't find which it is. 

Neverout. Ay ; the Fox had a Wound, 
and he could not tell where, &c. Bring 
some Water to throw in her Face. 

Miss. Pray, Mr. Neverout, did you ever 



DIALOGUE 11. 139 

draw a Sword in Anger ? I warrant you 
would faint at the Sight of your own 
Blood. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, shall I send 
you some Veal ? 

Neverout. No, Madam ; I don't love it. 

Miss. Then pray for them that do. I 
desire your Ladyship will send me a Bit. 

Ld. Smart. Tom., my Service to you. 

Neverout. My Lord, this Moment I did 
myself the Honour to drink to your Lord- 
ship. 

Ld. Smart. Why then that's Hartford- 
shire Kindness. 

Neverout. Faith, my Lord, I pledged 
myself, for I drank twice together with- 
out thinking. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why then, Colonel, my 
humble Service to You. 

Neverout. Pray, my Lord, don't make 
a Bridge of my Nose. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, a Glass of this 
Wine is as comfortable as Matrimony to 
an old Woman. 

Col. Sir John, I design one of these 
Days to come and beat up your Quarters 
in 'Derbyshire. 

Sir John. Faith, Colonel, come and 
welcome ; and stay away, and heartily 



140 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

welcome ; But you were born within the 
Sound of Bow Bell, and don't care to stir 
so far from London. 

Miss. Pray, Colonel, send me some 
Fritters. 

[Colonel takes them out with his Hand. 

Col. Here, Miss ; they say. Fingers 
were made before Forks, and Hands 
before Knives. 

Lady Smart. Methinks this Pudden 
is too much boil'd. 

Ld. Answ. Oh ! Madam, they say, a 
Pudden is Poison when it's too much 
boil'd. 

Neverout. Miss, shall I help you to a 
Pigeon? Here's a Pigeon so finely 
roasted, it cries. Come eat me. 

Miss. No, Sir ; I thank you. 

Neverout. Why, then you may chuse. 

Miss. I have chosen already. 

Neverout. Well, you may be worse 
offer'd, before you are twice marry'd. 

\The Colonel fills a large Plate of Soupe. 

Ld. Smart. Why, Colonel, you don't 
mean to eat all that Soupe ? 

Col. O my Lord, this is my sick Dish ; 
when I am well, Pll have a bigger. 



DIALOGUE II. 141 

Miss \to Col.] Sup, Simon ; very good 
Broth. 

Neverout. This seems to be a good 
Pullet. 

Miss. I warrant, Mr. Neverout knows 
what's good for himself. 

Ld. Sparkish. Tom, I shan't take your 
Word for it ; help me to a Wing. 

[Neverout tryes to cut off a Wing. 

Neverout. Egad I can't hit the Joint. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, then, think of a 
Cuckold. 

Neverout. Oh ! now I have nick'd it. 
\Gives it Ld. Sparkish. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, a Man may eat 
this, tho' his Wife lay a dying. 

Col. Pray, Friend, give me a Glass of 
Small Beer, if it be good. 

Ld. Smart. Why, Colonel, they say, 
there is no such thing as good Small 
Beer, good Brown Bread, or a good Old 
Woman. 

Lady Smart, [to Lady Answ.\ Madam, 
I beg your Ladyship's Pardon ; I did 
not see you when I was cutting that 
Bit. 

Lady Answ. Oh ! Madam ; after you 
is good Manners. 



142 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. Lord ! here's a Hair in 
the Sauce. 

Ld. Sparkish. Then set the Hounds 
after it. 

Neverout. Pray, Colonel, help me how- 
ever to some of that same Sauce. 

Col. Come ; I think you are more 
Sauce than Pig. 

Ld. Smart. Sir Jokn, chear up : My 
Service to you : Well, w^hat do you 
think of the World to come ? 

Sir Jokn. Truly, my Lord, I think of 
it as little as I can. 

Lady Smart \putting a Scewer on a 
P/ate.] Here, take this Scewer, and carry 
it down to the Cook, to dress it for her 
own Dinner. 

Neverout. I beg your Ladyship's Par- 
don ; but this Small Beer is dead. 

Lady Smart. Why, then, let it be 
bury'd. 

Col. This is admirable Black Pudden : 
Miss, shall I carve you some ? I can just 
carve Pudden, and that's all ; I am the 
worst Carver in the World ; I should 
never make a good Chaplain. 

Miss. No, thank ye. Colonel ; for they 
say, those that eat Black Pudden will 
dream of the Devil. 



DIALOGUE II. 143 

Ld. Smart. O, here comes the Venison - 
Pasty : Here, take the Soupe away. 

Ld. Smart. [He cuts it up, and tastes 
the Vem'son.J 'Sbuds ! this Venison is 
musty. 

[Neverout eats a Piece, and it burns 
his Mouth. 

Ld. Smart. What's the Matter, Tom ? 
You have Tears in your Eyes, I think : 
What dost cry for, Man ? 

Neverout. My Lord, I was just think- 
ing of my poor Grandmother ; She died 
just this very Day Seven Years. 

[Miss takes a Bit, and burns her Mouth. 

Neverout. And, pray, Miss, why do 
you cry too ? 

Miss. Because you were not hang'd 
the Day your Grandmother died. 

Ld. Smart. I'd have given Forty 
Pounds, Miss, to have said that. 

Col. Egad, I think, the more I eat, the 
hungrier I am. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Colonel, they say, 
one Shoulder of Mutton drives down 
another. 

Neverout. Egad, if I were to fast for 
my Life, I would take a good Breakfast 



144 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

in the Morning, a. good Dinner at Noon, 
and a good Supper at Night. 

Ld. Sparkish. My Lord, this Venison 
is plaguily pepper'd ; your Cook has a 
heavy Hand. 

Ld. Smart. My Lord, I hope, you are 
Pepper-proof: Come, here's a Health to 
the Founders. 

Lady Smart. Ay ; and to the Con- 
founders too. 

Ld. Smart. Lady Answerall, does not 
your Ladyship love Venison ? 

Lady Answ. No, my Lord, I can't 
endure it in my Sight, therefore please 
to send me a good Piece of Meat and 
Crust. 

Ld. Sparkish [drinks to Neverouti] 
Come, Tom ; not always to my Friends, 
but once to you. 

Neverout [drinks to Lady Smart."] 
Come, Madam ; here's a Health to our 
Friends, and hang the rest of our Kin. 

Lady Smart [to Lady Answ.] Madam, 
will your Ladyship have any of this 
Hare? 

Lady Answ. No, Madam ; they say, 
'tis melancholy Meat. 

Lady Smart, Then, Madam, shall I 
send you the Brains ? I beg your Lady- 



DIALOGUE II. 145 

ship's Pardon ; for they say, 'tis not good 
Manners to offer Brains. 

Lady Answ. No, Madam ; for perhaps 
it will make me hare-brain'd. 

Neverout. Miss, I must tell you one 
thing. 

Miss {with a Glass in her Hand!) 
Hold your Tongue, Mr. Neverout ; don't 
speak in my Tip. 

Col. Well, he was an ingenious Man, 
that first found out Eating and Drinking. 

Ld. Sparkish. Of all Vittles Drink 
digests the quickest : Give me a Glass 
of Wine. 

Neverout. My Lord, your Wine is too 
strong. 

Ld. Smart. Ay, Tom ; as much as 
you are too good. 

Miss. This Almond Pudden was pure 
good ; but it is grown quite cold. 

Neverout. So much the better, Miss ; 
cold Pudden will settle your Love. 

Miss. Pray, Mr. Neverout, are you 
going to take a Voyage ? 

Neverout. Why do you ask, Miss ? 

Miss. Because you have laid in so 
much Beef 

Sir John. You Two have eat up the 
whole Pudden betwixt you. 

L 



146 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Miss. Sir John, here's a little Bit left ; 
will you please to h*ve it ? 

Sir John. No, thankee ; I don't love 
to make a Fool of my Mouth. 

Col. {calling to the Butler^ John, is your 
Small Beer good ? 

Butler. An please your Honour, my 
Lord and Lady like it ; T think it is good. 

Col. Why then, John, d'yesee? if you 
are sure your Small Beer is good, d'ye- 
mark ? Then, give me a Glass of Wine. 

{All laugh. 

{Colonel tasting the Wine. 

Ld. Smart. Sir John, how does your 
Neighbour Gatherall of the Peak ? I hear, 
he has lately made a Purchase. 

Sir John. Oh, Dick Gatherall knows 
how to butter his Bread, as well as any 
Man in Darby shire. 

Ld. Smart. Why, he us'd to go very 
fine, when he was here in Town. 

Sir John. Ay ; and it became him, as 
a Saddle becomes a Sow. 

Col. I know his Lady, and I think she 
is a very good Woman. 

Sir John. Faith, she has more Good- 
ness in her little Finger, than he has in 
his whole Body. 



DIALOGUE II. 147 

Ld. Smart. Well, Colonel, how do you 
like that Wine ? 

Col. This Wine should be eaten ; it is 
too good to be drunk. 

Ld. Smart. I'm very glad you like it ; 
and pray don't spare it. 

Col. No, my Lord ; I'll never starve 
in a Cook's Shop. 

Ld. Smart. And pray. Sir John, what 
do You say to my Wine ? 

Sir John. I'll take another Glass first ; 
second Thoughts are best. 

Ld. Sparkish. Pray, Lady Smart, you 
sit near that Ham ; will you please to 
send me a Bit ? 

Lady Smart. With all my Heart. \She 
sends him a Piecei\ Pray, my Lord, how 
do you like it ? 

Ld. Sparkish. I think it is a Limb oi Lot's 
Wife. \^He eats it with Mustard.] Egad, 
my Lord, your Mustard is very uncivil. 

Ld. Smart. Why uncivil, my Lord ? 

Ld. Sparkish. Because it takes me by 
the Nose, egad. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, I find you 
are a very good Carver. 

Col. O Madam, that is no Wonder ; 
for you must know, Tom Neverout carves 
a Sundays. 



148 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

[Neverout overturns the Salt-celler. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, you have 
overtum'd the Salt, and that's a Sign of 
Anger : I'm afraid, Miss and You will 
fall out. 

Lady Answ. No, no ; throw a little 
of it into the Fire, and all will be well. 

Neverout. O Madam, the falling out 
of Lovers, you know. 

Miss. Lovers ! very fine ! fall out with 
Him ! I wonder when we were in ! 

Sir John. For my Part, I believe, the 
young Gentlewoman is his Sweetheart ; 
there's so much Fooling and Fidling be- 
twixt them : I'm sure, they say in our 

Country, that is the Beginning 

of Love. 

Miss. I own, I love Mr. Neverout, as 
the Devil loves Holy Water ; I love him 
like Pye, I'd rather the Devil had him 
than I. 

Neverout. Miss, I'll tell you one thing. 

Miss. Come, here's t' ye, to stop your 
Mouth. 

Neverout. I'd rather you would stop it 
with a Kiss. 

Miss. A Kiss ! marry come up, my 
dirty Cousin ; are you no sicker ? Lord, 



DIALOGUE II. 149 

I wonder what Fool it was that first 
invented Kissing ! 

Neverout. Well, I'm very dry. 

Miss. Then you're the better to burn, 
and the worse to fry. 

Lady Answ. God bless you. Colonel ; 
you have a good Stroke with you. 

Col. O Madam ; formerly I could eat 
all, but now I leave nothing ; I eat but 
one Meal a Day. 

Miss. What ! I suppose. Colonel, that's 
from Morning till Night. 

Neverout. Faith, Miss ; and well was 
his Wont. 

Ld. Smart. Pray, Lady Answerall, 
taste this Bit of Venison. 

Lady Answ. I hope, your Lordship 
will set me a good Example. 

Ld. Smart. Here's a Glass of Cyder 
fill'd : Miss, you must drink it. 

Miss. Indeed, my Lord, I can't. 

Neverout. Come, Miss ; better Belly 
burst, than good Liquor be lost. 

Miss. Pish ! well in Life there was 
never any thing so teizing ; I had rather 
shed it in my Shoes : I wish it were in 
your Guts, for my Share. 

Ld. Smart. Mr. Neverout, you han't 
tasted my Cyder yet. 



ISO POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout. No, my Lord : I have been 
jjust eating Soupe ; and they say, if one 
Oirinks in one's Porridge, one will cough 
in one's Grave. 

Ld. Sinart. Come, take Miss's Glass, 
she wish'd it was in your Guts ; let her 
have her Wish for once : Ladies can't 
abide to have their Inclinations cross'd. 

Lady Smart \to Sir Johnl\ I think. Sir 
John, you have not tasted the Venison yet. 

Sir John. I seldom eat it. Madam : 
However, please to send me a little of 
the Crust. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Sir John, you 
had as good eat the Devil as the Broth 
he's boil'd in. 

Col. Well, this Eating and Drinking 
takes away a body's Stomach, as Lady 
Answerall says. 

Neverout. I have dined as well as my 
Lord Mayor. 

Miss. I thought I could have eaten 
this Wing of a Chicken ; but my Eye's 
bigger than my Belly. 

Ld. Smart. Indeed, Lady Answerall, 
you have eaten nothing. 

Lady Answ. Pray, my Lord, see all 
, the Bones on my Plate :, They say, a 
t^arpenter's known by his Chips. 



DIALOGUE II. 151 

Neverout. Miss, will you reach me that 
Glass of Jelly ? 

Miss [giving it to him.] You see, 'tis 
but ask and have. 

Neverout. Miss, I would have a bigger 
Glass. 

Miss. What ! you don't know your 
own Mind ; you are neither well, fulL nor 
fasting ; I think that is enough. 

Neverout. Ay, one of the Enough's ; I 
am sure it is little enough. 

Miss. Yes; but you know, sweet Things 
are bad for the Teeth. 

Neverout [to Lady Answ.] Madam, I 
don't like that Part of the Veal you sent 
me. 

Lady Answ. "W e\\,M.r. Neverout, I find 
you are a true Englishman ; you never 
know when you are well. 

Col. Well, I have made my whole 
Dinner of Beef 

Lady Answ. Why, Colonel, a Belly- 
full's a Belly-full, if it be but of- Wheat- 
straw. 

Col. Well, after all, Kitchen-Physic is 
the best Physic. 

Ld. Smart. And the best Doctors in 
the World are Doctor Dyet, Doctor Quiet, 
and Doctor Merryman, 



152 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Ld. Sparkish. What do you think of 
a little House well fill'd ? 

Sir John. And a little Land well 
till'd ? 

Col. Ay ; and a little Wife well will'd ? 

Neverout. My Lady Smart, pray help 
me to some of the Breast of that Goose. 

Ld. Smart. Tom, I have heard, that 
Goose upon Goose is false Heraldry. 

Miss. What ! will you never have done 
stuffing ? 

Ld. Smart. This Goose is quite raw : 
Well, God sends Meat, but the Devil 
sends Cooks. 

Neverout. Miss, can you tell which is 
the white Goose, or the gray Goose the 
Gander ? 

Miss. They say, a Fool will ask more 
Questions than the wisest body can 
answer. 

Col. Indeed, Miss, Tom Neverout has 
posed you. 

Miss. Why, Colonel, every Dog has 
his Day ; but, I believe, I shall never see 
a Goose again without thinking on Mr. 
Neverout. 

Ld. Smart. Well said. Miss ; faith, 
Girl, thou hast brought thyself off cleverly. 
Tom, what say you to that ? 



DIALOGUE II. I S3 

Col. Faith, Tom is nonplust ; he looks 
plaguily down in the Mouth. 

Miss. Why, my Lord, you see he is 
the provokingest Creature in Life ; I be- 
Heve there is not such another in the 
varsal World. 

Lady Answ. Oh, Miss 1 the World's a 
wide Place. 

Neverout. Well, Miss, I'll give you 
Leave to call me any thing, if you don't 
call me Spade. 

Ld. Smart. Well, but, after all, Tom, 
can you tell me what's Latin for a Goose. 

Neverout. O my Lord, I know that ; 
why Brandy is Latin for a Goose, and 
Tace is Latin for a Candle. 

Miss. Is that Manners, to shew your \ 
Learning before Ladies ? Methinks you / 
are grown very brisk of a sudden ; I 
think the Man's glad he's alive. 

Sir John. The Devil take your Wit, if 
this be Wit ; for it spoils Company : 
Pray, Mr. Butler, bring me a Dram after 
my Goose ; 'tis very good for the Whol- 
soms. 

Ld. Smart. Come, bring me the Loaf; 
I sometimes love to cut my own Bread. 

Miss. I suppose, my Lord, you lay 
longest a Bed To-day. 



154 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Ld. Smart. Miss, if I had said so, I 
should have told a Fib ; I warrant you 
lay a Bed till the Cows came Home : 
But, Miss, shall I cut you a little Crust 
now my Hand is in ? 

Miss. If you please, my Lord, a Bit of 
Under-crust. 

Neverout. \whispering Miss!\ I find, 
you love to lie under. 

Miss, aloud [pushing him from her."] 
What does the Man mean ! Sir, I don't 
understand you at all. 

Neverout. Come, all Quarrels laid 
aside : Here, Miss, may you live a thou- 
sand Years. [He drinks to her. 

Miss. Pray, Sir, don't stint me. 

Ld. Smart. Sir John, will you taste my 
October ? I think it is very good ; but I 
believe not equal to yours in Darbyshire. 

Sir John. My Lord, I beg your Par- 
don ; but they say, the Devil made 
Askers. 

Ld. Smart, [to tlie Butler^ Here, bring 
up the great Tankard full of October for 
Sir John. 

Col. [drinking to Miss."] Miss, your 
Health ; may you live all the Days of 
your Life. 

Lady Answ. Well, Miss, you'll cer- 



DIALOGUE 11. 155 

tainly be soon marry'd ; here's Two 
Batchelors drinking to you at once. 

Lady Smart. Indeed, Miss, I believe 
you were wrapt in your Mother's Smock, 
you are so well belov'd. 

Miss. Where's my Knife? Sure I 
han't eaten it. Oh ! here it is. 

Sir John. No, Miss ; but your Maiden- 
head hangs in your Light. 

Miss. Pray, Sir John, is that a Darby- 
shire Compliment ? Here, Mr. Neverout, 
will you take this Piece of Rabbit that 
you bid me carve for you ? 

Neverout. I don't know. 

Miss. Why, take it, or let it alone. 

Neverout. I will. 

Miss. What will you ? 

Neverout. Why, I'll take it, or let it 
alone. 

Miss. You are a provoking Creature. 

Sir John \talking with a Glass of 
Wine in his Hand^ I remember a Farmer ^ 
in our Country f . 

Ld. Smart [interrupting him.] Pray, x; 
Sir John, did you ever hear of Parson 
Palmer ? 

Sir John. No, my Lord ; what of him ? 

Ld. Smart. Why, he used to preach 
over his Liquor. 



I $6 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Sir John. I beg your Pardon ; here's 
your Lordship's Health : I'd drink it up, 
if it were a Mile to the Bottom. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, have you 
been at the new Play ? 

Neverout. Yes, Madam ; I went the 
first Night. 

Lady Smart. Well ; and how did it 
take? 

Neverout. Why, Madam, the Poet is 
damn'd. 

Sir John. God forgive you ! that's very 
uncharitable : you ought not to judge so 
rashly of any Christian. 

Neverout \whispers Lady Smart.] Was 
ever such a Dunce ? How well he knows 
the Town ! see, how he stares like a 
Stuck-Pig ! Well, but, Sir John, are you 
acquainted with any of our fine Ladies 
yet ? any of our famous Toasts ? 

Sir John. No ; damn your Fireships, 
I have a Wife of my own. 

Lady Smart. Pray, my Lady Answer- 
all, how do you like these preserv'd 
Oranges ? 

Lady Answ. Indeed, Madam, the only 
Fault I find is, that they are too good. 

Lady Smart. O Madam ; I have heard 
'em say, that too good is stark naught. 



DIALOGUE II. 157 

[Miss drinking Part of a Glass of Wine. 

Neverout. Pray, let me drink your 
Snuff. 

Miss. No, indeed ; you shan't drink 
after me, for you'll know my Thoughts. 

Neverout. I know them already ; you 
are thinking of a good Husband : Be- 
sides, I can tell your Meaning by your 
Mumping. 

Lady Smart. Pray, my Lord, did not 
you order the Butler to bring up a Tan- 
kard of our October to Sir John ? I be- 
lieve, they stay to brew it. 

\The Butler brings up the Tankard to 
Sir John. 

Sir John. Won't your Ladyship please 
to drink first ? 

Lady Smart. No, Sir John ; 'tis in a 
very good Hand ; I'll pledge you. 

Col. [to Ld. Smart.] My Lord, I love 
October as well as Sir John ; and I hope, 
you won't make Fish of one, and Flesh 
of another. 

Ld. Smart. Colonel, you're heartily 
welcome. Come, Sir John, take it by 
Word of Mouth, and then give it the 
Colonel. 

[Sir John drinks. 



158 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Ld. Smart. Well, Sir John, how do 
you like it ? 

Sir John. Not as well as my own in 
Darbyshire ; 'tis plaguy small. 

Lady Smart. I never taste Malt Li- 
quor ; but they say, 'tis well hopt. 

Sir John. Hopt ! why, if it had hopp'd 
a little further, it would have hopp'd into 
the River. O my Lord, my Ale is Meat, 
Drink and Cloth ; it will make a Cat 
speak, and a wise. Man dumb. 

Lady Smart. I was told, ours was very 
strong. 

Sir John. Ay, Madam, strong of the 
Water ; I believe the Brewer forgot the 
Malt, or the River was too near him : 
Faith, it is mere Whip-Belly- Vengeance ; 
he that drinks most has the worst Share. 

Col. I believe. Sir John, Ale is as 
Plenty as Water at your House. 

Sir John. Why, faith, at Christmas we 
have many Comers and Goers ; and they 
must not be sent away without a Cup of 

Christmas Ale, for fear they should 

behind the Door. 

Lady Smart. I hear. Sir John has the 
nicest Garden in England ; they say, 'tis 
kept so clean, that you can't find a Place 
where to spit. 



DIALOGUE II. 159 

Sir John. O Madam ; you are pleased 
to say so. 

Lady Smart. But, Sir John, your Ale 
is terrible strong and heady in Derby- 
shire, and will soon make one drunk and 
sick ; what do you then ? 

Sir John. Why, indeed, it is apt to 
fox one ; but our Way is, to take a Hair 

of the same Dog next Morning. 1 

take a new-laid Egg for Breakfast ; and, 
faith, one should drink as much after an 
Egg as after an Ox. 

Ld. Smart. Tom Neverout, will you 
taste a Glass of the October ? 

Neverout. No, faith, my Lord ; I like 
your Wine, and I won't put a Churle 
upon a Gentleman ; your Honour's Claret 
is good enough for me. 

Lady Smart. What ! is this Pigeon 
left for Manners ? Colonel, shall I send 
you the Legs and Rump ? 

Col. Madam, I could not eat a Bit 
more, if the House was full. 

Ld. Smart [carving a Partridge.^ 
Well ; one may ride to Rumford upon 
this Knife, it is so blunt. 

Lady Answ. My Lord, I beg your 
Pardon ; but they say, an ill Workman 
never had good Tools. 



l6o POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Ld. Smart. Will your Lordship have 
a Wing of it ? 

Ld. Sparkish. No, my Lord ; I love the 
Wing of an Ox a great deal better. 

Ld. Smart. I'm always cold after 
Eating. 

Col. My Lord, they say, that's a Sign 
of long Life. 

Ld. Smart. Ay ; I believe I shall live 
till all my Friends are weary of me. 

Col. Pray, does any body here hate 
Cheese ? I would be glad of a Bit. 

Ld. Smart. An odd kind of Fellow 
dined with me t'other Day ; and when 
the Cheese came upon the Table, he pre- 
tended to faint ; so somebody said. Pray, 
take away the Cheese ; No, said I ; pray, 
take away the Fool : Said I well ? 

[Here a large and loud Laugh. 

Col. Faith, my Lord, you serv'd the 
Coxcomb right enough ; and therefore I 
wish we had a Bit of your Lordship's 
Oxfordshire Cheese. 

Ld. Smart. Come, hang Saving ; bring 
us a Halfporth of Cheese. 

Lady Answ. They say. Cheese digests 
every thing but itself. 

\A Footman brings a great whole Cheese. 



DIALOGUE II. l6l 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay ; this would look 
handsome, if any body should come 
in. 

Sir John. Well ; I'm weily rosten, as 
they sayn in Lancashire. 

Lady Smart. Oh ! Sir John ; I wou'd 
I had something to brost you withal. 

Ld. Smart. Come ; they say, 'tis merry 
in Hall, when Beards wag all. 

Lady Smart. Miss, shall I help you 
to some Cheese? or will you carve for 
yourself? 

Neverout. I'll hold Fifty Pounds, Miss 
won't cut the Cheese. 

Miss. Pray, why so, Mr. Neverout ? 
Neverout. Oh there is a Reason, and 
you know it well enough. 

Miss. I can't for my Life understand 
what the Gentleman means. 

Ld. Smart. Pray, Tom, change the 
Discourse ; in Troth you are too bad. 

Col. \whispers Neverout.'] Smoke Miss ; 
faith, you have made her fret like Gum 
Taffety. 

Lady Smart. Well, but Miss ; (hold 
your Tongue, Mr. Neverout) shall I cut 
you a Piece of Cheese ? 

Miss. No, really, Madam ; I have dined 
this half Hour. 

M 



1 62 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. What ! quick at Meat, 
quick at Work, they say. 

[Sir John nods. 

Ld. Smart. What ! are you sleepy. Sir 
John ? do you sleep after Dinner ? 

Sir John. Yes, faith ; I sometimes 
take a Nap after my Pipe ; for when the 
Belly is full, the Bones will be at Rest. 

Ld. Smart. Come, Colonel ; help your- 
self, and your Friends will love you the 
better. \To Lady Answ.\ Madam, your 
Ladyship eats nothing. 

Lady Answ. Lord, Madam, I have fed 
like a Farmer ; I shall grow as fat as a 
Porpoise ; I swear my Jaws are weary 
of chawing. 

Col. I have a Mind to eat a Piece of 
that Sturgeon ; but fear it will make me 
sick. 

Neverout. A rare Soldier indeed ! Let 
it alone, and I warrant it won't hurt you. 

Col. Well ; but it would vex a Dog to 
see a Pudden creep. 

[Sir John rises. 

Ld, Smart. Sir John, what are you 
doing? 

Sir John. Swolks, I must be going. 



•n) 



DIALOGUE ir. 163 

by'r Lady ; I have earnest Business ; I 
must do as the Beggars do, go away 
when I have got enough. 

Ld. Smart. Well, but stay till this 
Bottle's out ; you know, the Man was '^ 
hang'd that left his Liquor behind him : \ 
And besides, a Cup in the Pate is a Mile ^ 
in the Gate ; and a Spur in the Head is € 
worth two in the Heel. 

Sir John. Come then ; one Brimmer 
to all your Healths. YThe Footman gives 
him a Glass half fulli\ Pray, Friend, 
what was the rest of this Glass made 
for? h^ Inch at the Top, Friend, is 
worth two at the Bottom. \^He gets a 
Brimmer, and drinks it offi\ Well, there's 
no Deceit in a Brimmer, and there's no 
■ false Latin in this ; your Wine is excel- 
lent good, so I thank you for the next, 
for I am sure of this : Madam, has your 
Ladyship any Commands in Darby shire? 
I must go Fifteen Miles To-night. 

Lady Smart. None, Sir John, but to 
take Care of Yourself; and my most 
humble Service to your Lady unknown. 

Sir John. Well, Madam, I can but love 
and thank you. 

La4y Smart. Here, bring Water to 
wash ; tho', really, you have all eaten so 



164 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

little, that you have no need to wash 
your Mouths. 

Ld. Smart. But, pr'ythee. Sir John, 
stay awhile longer. 

Sir John. No, my Lord ; I am to 
smoke a Pipe with a Friend before I 
leave the Town. 

Col. Why, Sir/i9,^«, had not you better 
set out To-morrow ? 

Sir John. Colonel, you forget To- 
morrow is Sunday. 

Col. Now I always love to begin a 
Journey on Sundays, because I shall have 
the Prayers of the Church, to jDreserve 
all that travel by Land, or by Water. 

Sir John. Well, Colonel ; thou art a 
mad Fellow to make a Priest of. 

Neverout. Fie, Sir John, do you take 
Tobacco ? How can you make a Chim- 
ney of your Mouth ? 

Sir John \to Neverout?^ What ! you 
don't smoke, I warrant you, but you 
smock. (Ladies, I beg your Pardon.) 
Colonel, do you never smoke ? 

Col. No, Sir John ; but I take a Pipe 
sometimes. 

Sir John. I'faith, one of your finical 
London Blades dined with me last Year 
in Darbyshire ; so, after Dinner, I took 



DIALOGUE II. 165 

a Pipe ; so my Gentleman turn'd away 
his Head : So, said I, What, Sir, do you 
never smoke? So, he answered as you 
do. Colonel ; No, but I sometimes take 
a Pipe : So, he took a Pipe in his Hand, 
and fiddled with it till he broke it : So, 
said I, Pray, Sir, can you make a Pipe ? 
So, he said No ; so, said I, Why, 
then. Sir, if you can't make a Pipe, you 
should not break a Pipe ; so, we all 
laugh'd. 

Ld. Smart. Well ; but, Sir John, they 
say, that the Corruption of Pipes is the 
Generation of Stoppers. 

Sir John. Colonel, I hear, you go 
sometimes to Darbyshire ; I wish you 
would come and foul a Plate with me. 

Co/. I hope, you'll give me a Soldier's 
Bottle. 

Sir John. Come, and try. Mr. Never- 
out, you are a Town-Wit, can you tell 
me what kind of Herb is Tobacco ? 

Neverout. Why, an Indian Herb, Sir 
John. 

Sir John. No, 'tis a Pot Herb ; and so 
here's t'ye in a Pot of my Lord's October. 

Lady Smart. I hear, Sir John, since 
you are married, you have forsworn the 
Town. 



1 66 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Sir John. No, Madam ; I never for- 
swore any thing but building of Churches. 

Lady Smart. Well ; but, Sir John, 
when may we hope to see you again in 
London ? 

Sir John. Why, Madam, not till the 
Ducks have eat up the Dirt ; as the 
Children say. 

Neverout. Come, Sir John ; I foresee 
it will rain terribly. 

Lady Smart. Come, Sir John, do 
nothing rashly ; let us drink first. 

Ld. Sparkish. I know Sir John will go, 
tho' he was sure it would rain Cats and 
Dogs : But pray, stay. Sir John ; you'll 
be time enough to go to Bed by Candle- 
light. 

Ld. Smart. Why, Sir John, if you 
must needs go ; while you stay, make 
good Use of your Time : Here's my Ser- 
vice to you, a Health to our Friends in 
Darbyshire : Come, sit down ; let us put 
off the evil Hour as long as we can. 

Sir John. Faith, I could not drink a 
Drop more, if the House was full. 

Col. Why, Sir John, you used to love 
a Glass of good Wine in former Times. 

Sir John. Why, so I do still. Colonel ; 
but a Man may love his House very 



DIALOGUE II. 167 

well, without riding on the Ridge : Be- 
sides, I must be with my Wife on Tues- 
day, or there will be the Devil and all to 
pay. 

Col. Well, if you go To-day, I wish 
you may be wet to the Skin. 

Sir John. Ay ; but they say, the 
Prayers of the Wicked won't prevail. 

[Sir John takes Leave, and goes away. 

Ld. Smart. Well, Miss, how do you 
like Sir John ? 

Miss. Why, I think, he's a little upon 
the silly, or so : I believe, he has not all 
the Wit in the World ; but I don't pre- 
tend to be a Judge. 

Neverout. Faith, I believe, he was bred 
at Hogs-Norton, where the Pigs play 
upon the Organs. 

Ld. Sparkish. Why, Tom, I thought 
You and He were Hand and Glove. 

Neverout. Faith, he shall have a clean 
Threshold for me ; I never darkned his 
Door in my Life, neither in Town nor 
Country ; but he's a quere old Duke by 
my Conscience ; and yet, after all, I take 
him to be more Knave than Fool. 

Lady Smart. Well, come ; a Man's a 
Man, if he has but a Nose on his Head. 



1 68 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Col. I was once with Him and some 
other Company over a Bottle ; and, egad, 
he fell asleep, and snor'd so hard, that 
we thought he was driving his Hogs to 
Market. 

Neverout. Why, what ! you can have 
no more of a Cat than her Skin ; you 
can't make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's 
Ear. 

Ld. Sparkish. Well, since he's gone, 
the Devil go with him and Sixpence ; 
and there's Money and Company too. 

Neverout. Faith, he's a true Country 
Put. Pray, Miss, let me ask you a Ques- 
tion? 

Miss. Well ; but don't ask Questions 
with a dirty Face : I warrant, what you 
have to say will keep cold. 

Col. Come, my Lord, against you are 
disposed ; Here's to all that love and 
honour you. 

Ld. Sparkish. Ay, that was always 
Dick Nimble's Health. I'm sure you 
know he's dead. 

Col Dead ! Well, my Lord, you love to 
be a Messenger of ill News : I'm heartily 
sorry ; but, my Lord, we must all die. 

Neverout. I knew him very well : But, 
pray, how came he to die ? 



Dialogue n. 169 

Miss. There's a Question ! you talk 
like a Poticary : Why, because he could 
live no longer. 

Neverout. Well ; rest his Soul : We 
must live by the Living, and not by the 
Dead. 

Ld. Sparkish. You know, his House 
was burnt down to the Ground. 

Col. Yes ; it was in the News : Why 
Fire and Water are good Servants, but 
they are very bad Masters. 

Ld. Smart. Here, take away, and set 
down a Bottle of Burgundy : Ladies, 
you'll stay, and drink a Glass of Wine 
before you go to your Tea. 

\All taken away, and the Wine set 
down, &c. 

[Miss gives Neverout a smart Pinch. 

Neverout. Lord, Miss, what d'ye mean ! 
D'ye think I have no Feeling ? 

Miss. I'm forc'd to pinch, for the 
Times are hard. 

Neverout \_giving Miss a Pinch.l Take 
that. Miss ; what's Sauce for a Goose is 
for a Gander. 

Miss [screaming.'] Well, Mr. Neverout, 
if I live, that shall neither go to Heaven 
nor Hell with you. 



170 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Neverout [takes Miss's Hand.'] Come, 
Miss ; let us lay all Quarrels aside, and 
be Friends. 

Miss. Don't be so teizing! You plague 

a body so ! Can't you keep your filthy 

Hands to yourself ? 

Neverout. Pray, Miss, where did you 
get that Pick-Tooth Case ? 

Miss. I came honestly by it. 

Neverout. I'm sure it was mine, for I 
lost just such a one ; nay, I don't tell you 
a Lye. 

Miss. No ; if You lye, it is much. 

Neverout. Well ; I'm sure 'tis mine. 

Miss. What ! you think every Thing 
is yours, but a little the King has. 

Neverout. Colonel, you have seen my 
fine Pick-Tooth Case ; don't you think 
this is the very same ? 

Col. Indeed, Miss, it is very like it. 

Miss. Ay ; what he says, you'll swear. 

Neverout. Well ; but I'll prove it to 
be mine. 

Miss. Ay ; do if you can. 

Neverout. Why, what's yours is mine, 
and what's mine is my own. 

Miss. Well, run on till you're weary, 
nobody holds you. 



DIALOGUE II. 171 

[Neverout gapes. 

Col. What, Mr. Neverout, do you gape 
for Preferment ? 

Neverout. Faith, I may gape long 
enough, before it falls into my Mouth. 

Lady Smart. Mr. Neverout, my Lord 
and I intend to beat up your Quarters 
one of these Days : I hear, you live high. 

Neverout. Yes, faith. Madam ; live 
high, and lodge in a Garret. 

Col. But, Miss, I forgot to tell you, 
that Mr. Neverout got the devilishest 
Fall in the Park To-day. 

Miss. I hope he did not hurt the 
Ground : But how was it, Mr. Neverout? 
I wish I had been there, to laugh. 

Neverout. Why, Madam, it was a 
Place where a Cuckold has been bury'd, 
and one of his Horns sticking out, I 
happened to stumble against it ; that 
was all. 

Lady Smart. Ladies, let us leave the 
Gentlemen to themselves ; I think it is 
Time to go to our Tea. 

Lady Answ. & Miss. My Lords and 
Gentlemen, your most humble Servant. 

Ld. Smart. Well, Ladies, we'll wait on 
you an Hour hence. 



172 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

\The Gentlemen alone. 

Ld. Smart. Come, John, bring us a 
fresh Bottle. 

Col. Ay, my Lord ; and, pray, let him 
carry off the dead Men (as we say in the 
Army.) {^Meaning the empty Bottles. 

Ld. Sparkish. Mr. Neverout, pray, is 
not that Bottle full ? 

Neverout. Yes, my Lord ; full of 
Emptiness. 

Ld. Smart. And, d'ye hear, John ? 
bring clean Glasses. 

Col. I'll keep mine ; for I think, the 
Wine is the best Liquor to wash Glasses 



POLITE CONVERSATION, 

ETC. 

DIALOGUE III. 
The Ladies at their Tea. 

Lady Smart. Well, Ladies ; now let 
us have a Cup of Discourse to ourselves. 

Lady Answ. What do you think of 
your Friend, Sir John Spendall? 

Lady Smart. Why, Madam, 'tis happy 
for him, that his Father was born before 
him. 

Miss. They say, he makes a very ill 
Husband to my Lady. 

Lady Answ. But he must be allow'd 
to be the fondest Father in the World. 

Lady Smart. Ay, Madam, that's true; 
for they say, the Devil is kind to his 
own. 

Miss. I am told, my Lady manages 
him to Admiration. 



174 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady Smart. That I believe ; for she's 
as cunning as a dead Pig ; but not half 
so honest. 

Lady Answ. They say, she's quite a 
Stranger to all his Gallantries. 

Lady Smart. Not at all ; but, you 
know, there's none so blind as they that 
won't see. 

Miss. O Madam, I am told, she 
watches him, as a Cat would watch a 
Mouse. 

Lady Answ. Well, if she ben't foully 
belied, she pays him in his own Coin. 

Lady Smart. Madam, I fancy I know 
your Thoughts, as well as if I were within 
you. 

Lady Answ. Madam, I was t'other 
Day in Company with Mrs. Clatter ; I 
find she gives herself Airs of being ac- 
quainted with your Ladyship. 

Miss. Oh, the hideous Creature ! did 
you observe her Nails ? they were long 
enough to scratch her Granum out of her 
Grave. 

Lady Smart. Well, She and Tom Gos- 
ling were banging Compliments back- 
wards and forwards ; it look'd like Two 
Asses scrubbing one another. 

Miss. Ay, claw me, and I'll claw thou : 



DIALOGUE III. 175 

But, pray, Madam, who were the Com- 
pany? 

Lady Smart. Why, there was all the 
World, and hiff Wife ; there was Mrs. 
Clatter, Lady Singular, the Countess of 
Talkham, (I should have named her 
first ;) Tom Goslin, and some others, 
whom I have forgot. 

Lady Answ. I think the Countess is 
very sickly. 

Lady Smart. Yes, Madam ; she'll 
never scratch a grey Head, I promise 
her. 

Miss. And, pray, what was your Con- 
versation ? 

Lady Smart. Why, Mrs. Clatter had 
all the Talk to herself, and was per- 
petually complaining of her Misfortunes. 

Lady Answ. She brought her Husband 
Ten Thousand Pounds ; she has a Town- 
House and Country-house : Would the 

Woman have her hung with 

Points ? 

Lady Smart. She would fain be at 
the Top of the House before the Stairs 
are built. 

Miss. Well, Comparisons are odious ; 
but she's as like her Husband, as if she 
were spit out of his Mouth ; as like as 



176 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

one Egg is to another : Pray, how was 
she drest? 

Lady Smart. Why, she was as fine as 
Fi'pence ; but, truly, I thought, there 
was more Cost than Worship. 

Lady Answ. I don't know her Hus- 
band : Pray, what is he ? 

Lady Smart. Why, he's a Concealer 
of the Law ; you must know, he came to 
us as drunk as David's Sow. 

Miss. What kind of Creature is he ? 

Lady Smart. You must know, the 
Man and his Wife are coupled like Rab- 
bets, a fat and a lean ; he's as fat as a 
Porpus, and she's one of Pharaoh's lean 
Kine : The Ladies and Tom Goslingvfere 
proposing a Party at Quadrille, but he 
refus'd to make one : Damn your Cards, 
said he, they are the Devil's Books. 

Lady Answ. A dull unmannerly Brute! 
Well, God send him more Wit, and me 
more Money. 

Miss. Lord! Madam, I would not 
keep such Company for the World. 

Lady Smart. O Miss, 'tis nothing 
when you are used to it : Besides, you 
know, for Want of Company, welcome 
Trumpery. 

Miss. Did your Ladyship play ? 



DIALOGUE III. 177 

Lady Smart. Yes, and won ; so I 
came off with Fidlers Fare, Meat, Drink, 
and Money. 

Lady Answ. Ay ; what says Pluck ? 

Miss. Well, my Elbow itches ; I shall 
change Bed-fellows. 

Lady Smart. And my Right Hand 
itches ; I shall receive Money. 

Lady Answ. And my Right Eye 
itches ; I shall cry. 

Lady Smart. Miss, I hear your Friend 
Mistress Giddy has discarded Dick 
Shuttle : Pray, has she got another 
Lover ? 

Miss. I hear of none. 

Lady Smart. Why, the Fellow's rich ; 
and I think she was a Fool to throw out 
her dirty Water before she got clean. 

Lady Answ. Miss, that's a very hand- 
some Gown of yours, and finely made ; 
very genteel. 

Miss. I'm glad your Ladyship likes 
it. 

Lady Answ. Your Lover will be in 
Raptures ; it becomes you admirably. 

Miss. Ay ; I assure you I won't take 
it as I have done ; if this won't fetch 
him, the Devil fetch him, say I. 

Lady Smart [to Lady Answ.] Pray, 
N 



178 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Madam, when did you see Sir Peter 
Muckworm ? 

Lady Answ. Not this Fortnight ; I 
hear, he's laid up with the Gout. 

Lady Smart. What does he do for it ? 

Lady Answ. Why I hear he's weary 
of doctoring it, and now makes Use of 
nothing but Patience and Flannel. 

Miss. Pray, how does He and my 
Lady agree ? 

Lady Answ. You know, he loves her 
as the Devil loves Holy Water. 

Miss. They say, she plays deep with 
Sharpers, that cheat her of her Money. 

Lady Answ. Upon my Word, they 
must rise early that would cheat her 
of her Money ; Sharp's the Word with 
her ; Diamonds cut Diamonds. 

Miss. Well, but I was assur'd from a 
good Hand that she lost at one Sitting 
to the Tune of a hundred Guineas ; make 
Money of that. 

Lady Smart. Well, but do you hear, 
that Mrs. Plump is brought to Bed at 
last? 

Miss. And, pray, what has God sent 
her? 

Lady Smart. Why, guess, if you can. 

Miss. A Boy, I suppose. 



DIALOGUE III. 179 

Lady Smart. No, you are out ; guess 
again. 

Miss. A Girl then. ^, 

Lacfy Smart. You have hit it ; I be- y. 
lieve you are a Witch. / 

Miss. O Madam ; the Gentlemen say, 
all fine Ladies are Witches ; but I pre- 
tend to no such thing. 

Lady Answ. Well, she had good Luck 
to draw Tom Plump into Wedlock ; she 
ris' with her upwards. 

Miss. Fie, Madam ! what do you 
mean? 

Lady Smart. O Miss ; 'tis nothing 
what we say among ourselves. 

Miss. Ay, Madam ; but they say, 
Hedges have Eyes, and Walls have 
Ears. 

Lady Answ. Well, Miss, I can't help 
it ; you know, I am old Tell-Truth ; I 
love to call a Spade a Spade. 

Lady Smart [mistakes the Tea-tongs 
for the Spoon.] What ! I think my 
Wits are a Wool-gathering To-day. 

Miss. Why, Madam, there was but a 
Right and a Wrong. 

Lady Smart. Miss, I hear, that You 
and Lady Coupler are as great as Cup 
and Can. 



l8o POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Lady 'Answ. Ay, Miss ; as great as 
the Devil and the Earl of Kent. 

Lady Smart. Nay, I am told, you 
meet together with as much Love, as 
there is between the old Cow and the 
Hay-stack. 

Miss. I own, I love her very well ; but 
there's Difference betwixt staring and 
stark mad. 

Lady Smart. They say, she begins to 
grow fat. 

Miss. Fat! ay, fat as a Hen in the 
Forehead. 

Lady Smart, Indeed, Lady Answerall, 
(pray, forgive me) I think, your Lady- 
ship looks thinner than when I saw you 
last. ,. , 

Miss. Indeed, Madam, I think not ; 
but your Ladyship is one of Job's Com- 
forters. 

Lady Answ. Well, no matter how I 
look ; I am bought and sold : but really. 
Miss, you are so very obliging, that I 
wish I were a handsome young Lord for 
your Sake. 

Miss. O Madam, your Love's a Million. 

Lady Smart [to Lady Answ.] Madam, 
will your Ladyship let me wait on you 
to the Play To-morrow ? 



DIALOGUE III. I8l 

Lady Answ. Madam, it becomes me 
to wait on your Ladyship. 

Miss. What, then, I'm turn'd out for 
a Wrangler. 

[ The Gentlemen come in to the Ladies to 
drink Tea. 

Miss. Mr. Neverout, we wanted you 
sadly ; you are always out of the Way 
when you should be hang'd. 

Neverout. You wanted me ! Pray, 
Miss, how do you look when you lye ? 

Miss. Better than you when you cry. 
■Manners indeed ! I find, you mend like 
sour Ale in Summer. 

Neverout. I beg' your Pardon, Miss ; 
I only meant, when you lie alone. 

Miss. That's well turn'd ; one Turn 
more would have turn'd you down 
Stairs. 

Neverout. Come, Miss ; be kind for 
once, and order me a Dish of Coffee. 

Miss. Pray, go yourself; let us wear 
out the oldest first : Besides, I can't go, 
for I have a Bone in my Leg. 

Col. They say, a Woman need but 
look on her Apron-string to find an 
Excuse. 

Neverout. Why, Miss, you are grown 



1 82 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

SO peevish, a Dog would not live with 
you. 

Miss. Mr. Neverout, I beg your Diver- 
sion ; no Offence, I hope : but truly in a 
little time you intend to make the 
Colonel as bad as yourself ; and that's as 
bad as bad can. 

Neverout. My Lord, don't you think 
Miss improves wonderfully of late ? Why, 
Miss, if I spoil the Colonel, I hope you 
will use him as you do me ; for, you 
know, love me, love my Dog. 

Col. How's that, Tom ? Say that 
again : Why, if I am a Dog, shake 
Hands, Brother. 

[Here a great, loud, long Laugh. 

Ld. Smart. But, pray. Gentlemen, why 
always so severe upon poor Miss ? On 
my Conscience, Colonel and Tom Never- 
out, one of you two are both Knaves. 

Col. My Lady Answerall, I intend to 
do myself the Honour of dining with 
your Ladyship To-morrow. 

Lady Answ. Ay, Colonel ; do if you 
can. 

Miss. I'm sure you'll be glad to be 
welcome. 

Col. Miss, I thank you ; and, to re- 



DIALOGUE III. 183 

ward You, I'll come and drink Tea with 
you in the Morning. 

Miss. Colonel, there's Two Words to 
that Bargain. 

Col. [to Lady Smart.'\ Your Ladyship 
has a very fine Watch ; well may you 
wear it. 

Lady Smart. It is none of mine, 
Colonel. 

Col. Pray, whose is it then ? 

Lady Smart. Why, 'tis my Lord's ; 
for they say, a marry'd Woman has 
nothing of her own, but her Wedding- 
Ring and her Hair- Lace : But if Women 
had been the Law-Makers, it would have 
been better. 

Col. This Watch seems to be quite 
new. 

Lady Smart. No, Sir ; it has been 
Twenty Years in my Lord's Family ; but 
Quare put a new Case and Dial-Plate to it. 

Neverout. Why, that's for all the World 
like the Man who swore he kept the same 
Knife forty Years, only he sometimes 
changed the Haft, and sometimes the 
Blade. 

Ld. Smart. Well, Tom, to give the 
Devil his Due, thou art a right Woman's 
Man. 



1 84 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

Col. Odd-so ! I have broke the Hinge 
of my Snuff-box ; I'm undone beside the 
Loss. 

Miss. Alack-a-day, Colonel ! I vow I 
had rather have found Forty Shillings. 

Neverout. Why, Colonel ; all that I 
can say to comfort you, is, that you must 
mend it with a new one. 

[Miss laughs. 

Col. What, Miss ! you can't laugh, but 
you must shew your Teeth. 

Miss. I'm sure you shew your Teeth 
when you can't bite : Well, thus it must 
be, if we sell Ale. 

Neverout. Miss, you smell very sweet ; 
I hope you don't carry Perfumes. 

Miss. Perfumes ! No, Sir ; I'd have 
you to know, it is nothing but the Grain 
of my Skin. » 

Col. Tom, you have a good Nose to 
make a poor Man's Sow. 

Ld. Sparkish. So, Ladies and Gentle- 
men, methinks you are very witty upon 
one another : Come, box it about ; 'twill 
come to my Father at last. 

Col. Why, my Lord, you see Miss has 
no Mercy ; I wish she were marry'd ; 



DIALOGUE III. l8S 

but I doubt, the grey Mare would prove 
the better Horse. 

Miss. Well, God forgive you for that 
Wish. 

Ld. Sparkish. Never fear him. Miss. 

Miss. What, my Lord, do you think I 
was .born in a Wood, to be afraid of an 
Owl? 

Ld. Smart. What have you to say to 
that. Colonel ? 

Neverout. O my Lord, my Friend the 
Colonel scorns to set his Wit against a 
Child. 

Miss. Scornful Dogs will eat dirty 
Puddens. 

Col. Well, Miss ; they say, a Woman's 
Tongue is the last thing about her that 
dies ; therefore let's kiss and Friends. 

Miss. Hands off! that's Meat for your 
Master. 

Ld. Sparkish. Faith, Colonel, you are 
for Ale and Cakes : But after all, Miss, 
you are too severe; you would not meddle 
with your Match. 

Miss. All they can say goes in at one 
Ear, and out at t'other for me, I can 
assure you : Only I wish they would be 
quiet, and let me drink my Tea. 

Neverout. What ! I warrant you think 




1 86 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

all is lost, that goes beside your own 
Mouth. 

Miss. Pray, Mr. Neverout, hold your 
Tongue for once, if it be possible ; one 
would think, you were a Woman in Man's 
Cloaths, by your prating. 

Neverout. No, Miss ; it is not hand- 
some to see one hold one's Tongue : 
Besides, I should slobber my Fingers. 

Col. Miss, did you never hear, that 
Three Women and a Goose are enough 
to make a Market ? 

Miss. I'm sure, if Mr. Neverout or You 
were among them, it would make a Fair. 

[Footman comes in. 

Lady Smart. Here, take away the 
Tea-table, and bring up Candles. 

Lady Answ. O Madam, no Candles 
yet, I beseech you ; don't let us burn 
Day-Light. 

Neverout. I dare swear. Miss, for her 
Part, will never burn Day-Light, if she 
can help it. 

Miss. Lord, Mr. Neverout, one can't 
hear one's own Ears for you. 

Lady Smart. Indeed, Madam, it is 
Blind-Man's Holiday ; we shall soon be 
all of a Colour, 



DIALOGUE III. 187 

Neverout. Why, then, Miss, we may- 
kiss where we Hke best. 

Miss. Fogh ! these Men talk of no- 
thing but kissing. [ She spits. 

Neverout. What, Miss, does it make 
your Mouth water? 

Lady Smart. It is as good be in the 
Dark as without Light ; therefore pray 
bring in Candles : They say. Women 
and Linen shew best by Candle-Light : 
Come, Gentlemen, are you for a Party at 
Quadrille ? 

Col. I'll make one with you three 
Ladies. 

Lady Answ. I'll sit down, and be a 
Stander-by. 

Lady Smart, [to Lady Answ.] Madam, 
does your Ladyship never play ? 

Col, Yes ; I suppose her Ladyship 
plays sometimes for an Egg at Easter. 

Neverout. Ay ; and a Kiss at Christ- 
mas. 

Lady Answ. Come, Mr. Neverout ; 
hold your Tongue, and mind your 
Knitting. 

Neverout. With all my Heart ; kiss 
my Wife, and welcome. 



1 88 POLITE CONVERSATION. 

[The Colonel, Mr. Neverout, Lady Smart 
and Miss go to Quadrille, and sit till 
Three in the Morning. 

[They rise from Cards.'\ 

Lady Smart. Well, Miss, you'll have a 
sad Husband, you have such good Luck 
at Cards. 

Neverout. Indeed, Miss, you dealt me 
sad Cards ; if you deal so ill by your 
Friends, what will you do with your 
Enemies ? 

Lady Answ. I'm sure 'tis time for 
honest Folks to be a-bed. 

Miss. Indeed my Eyes draws Straw. 

[She's almost asleep. 

Neverout. Why, Miss,ifyou fall asleep, 
somebody may get a Pair of Gloves. 

Col. I'm going to the Land of Nod. 

Neverout. Faith, I'm for Bedfordshire. 

Lady Smart. I'm sure I shall sleep 
without rocking. 

Neverout. Miss, I hope you'll dream 
of your Sweetheart. 

Miss. Oh, no doubt of it : I believe I 
shan't be able to sleep for dreaming of 
him. 



DIALOGUE III. 189 

Col. \to Miss.] Madam, shall I have 
the Honour to escort you ? 

Miss. No, Colonel, I thank you ; my 
Mamma has sent her Chair and Foot- 
men. Well, my Lady Smart, I'll give 
you Revenge whenever you please. 

[Footman comes in. 

Footman. Madam, the Chairs are wait- 
ing. 

\They all take their Chairs, and 
gooff. 



FINIS. 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

Page S, 1. i. 1695. — This date, and the pre- 
vious " more than forty years past," are of course 
adjusted to the date of the book's appearance. 
See Introduction for its probable chronology. 

Page 5, I. 18. For "because" I am half in- 
clined to read " became " — a very likely misprint. 

Page 6, 11. 4-10. " Twelve .... Sixteen."— 
This would bring us to 1723, which may or 
may not mark the date of a version of the 
" Conversation." The first " Twelve " would 
almost exactly coincide with the "Essay on 
Conversation " referred to above. 

Page 12, 1. 18. "Isaac the Dancing-Master.^^ 
—Called by Steele in "Tatler," No. 34, "my 
namesake Isaac." He is best known by Soame 
Jenyns' couplet : — 

"And Isaac's rigadoon shall live as long 
As Raphael's painting or as Virgil's song." 

He was, as became his profession, a French- 
man. Southey refers to him in " The Doctor." 

Page 16, 1. 6. "Comedies and other fantas- 
tick Writings'' — Where they will be found, as 
the ingenious Mr. WagstafF says, " strewed here 
and there." 

Pages 16, 17. — "Graham. D. of R. E. of 

O 



194 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

E. ^ Lord and Lady HP — I do not know that 
attempts at identifying these shadowy per- 
sonages would be very wise. But the date as- 
signed to the Colonel is one of the marks of 
long incubation. " Towards the end " of Charles 
II. 's reign would be about 1684. A fine gentle- 
man of that day might very well have been 
Mr. WagstafFs "companion"' had the latter 
written in 17 10 — less well had he written a 
quarter of a century later. 

Page 18, 1. 24. — Swift, like a good Tory and 
Churchman, never forgave Burnet. 

Page 21, 1. 2. '■'■Selling of Bargains" is the 
returning of a coarse answer to a question or 
other remark. So in Dorset's charming poem 
about " This Bess of my heart, this Bess of my 
soul." 

Page 24, 1. 26. " Great Ornaments of Style" 
or, as it hath been put otherwise, " a grand set- 
off to conversation'' — Observe that in these pas- 
sages as to Free-Thinking and Oaths, Swift 
maintains his invariable attitude as to profanity. 

Page 25, last line. " PoetP — I know him not, if 
he ever existed save as a maggot of Swift's brain. 

Page 26, 1. 13. "■ Sir John Perrot." — Deputy 
of Ireland and a stout soldier, but an unlucky 
pohtician. He died in the Tower, where he is 
not unlikely to have had leisure and reason to 
perfect himself in commination. 

Page 31, 1. 16. "Lilly." — The Latin gram- 
marian, of course, not the astrologer. 

Page 32, 1. 12. "^n't" I presume to be iden- 
tical with aiiit. 

Page 36, 1. 21. It may seem strange that 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. I9S 

Mr. Wagstaff, who loves not books and scholars, 
should refer to a grave philosopher. But fine 
gentlemen in his youth had to know or seem to 
know their Hobbes. 

Page 38, 1. 26. " Please." — sic in orig. 

Page 41. — In this page Swift strikes in with 
his friends against the "dunces." One may 
suspect that Tom Brown was in the first 
draught, and perhaps Dennis, Ward and Gildon 
being added later. 

Page 42, 1. 6. — Ozell, the translator of Rabe- 
lais. Stevens I do not know or have forgotten, 
and the " Dunciad " knows him not. 

Page 44, 1. 26. " The Craftsman." — This must 
be one of the latest additions, the " Craftsman " 
being the organ of Pulteney and the Opposition 
in the great Walpolian battle. 

Page46,11. II, 17. '■^ Another for Alexander !" 

Page 50, 1. 21. " Those of Sir Isaac."— Mr. 
Craik and others have noticed that Swift's 
grammar, especially in unrevised pieces, is not 
always impeccable. But this, like other things 
in this Introduction, is clearly writ in character, 
the character of the more polite than pedantic 
Wagstaff. 

Page 56, 1. 26. " IVit at IVill."— Readers of 
the minor and even of the greater writers of the 
late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries 
will remember the interminable jingles and 
plays on these two words wherever they could 
be introduced. The phrase "Wit at will" 
survived most of its companions as a catch- 
^ford. 

Page 58, 1. 3. " Queen Elizabeth's dead." — A 



196 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

minute philosopher might be pleased with the 
inquiry when Queen Anne superseded her gra- 
cious predecessor in this phrase. Naturally that 
time had not come when the " Conversation " 
was first planned. 

Page 59, 1. 2. " Push-pin." — Allusions to this 
old children's game are very common in the 
seventeenth century ; rare, I think, in the 
eighteenth. 

Page 64, 1. 20. " Vardi." — See Introduction, 
p. 32, where the form is " Verdi." 

Page 65, 1. 28. " LoVs pound" means an in- 
extricable difficulty. In Dekker's paraphrase of 
the "Quinze Joyes du Mariage," it is used to 
render the French dans la nasse. 

Page 72, 1. l. I do not understand " Map- 
sticks" 

Page 76, 11. 3, 4. " Cooking." — I.e. (as I sup- 
pose), putting the bread-andTbutter in the tea. 
I believe this atrocious practice is not absolutely 
obsolete yet. 

Page 76, last line but one. '■^ Head for the 
washing." — I think this is quite dead in English ; 
laver la tite is of course still excellent French for 
to scold or rate. 

Page 79, 1. 3. " A Lord." — Lord Grimstone, 
whose production made the wits merry for a 
long time. He is Pope's "booby Lord," and 
this absurd play (which, however, he is said to 
have written at the age of 13), was reprinted in 
his despite by the Duchess of Marlborough, 
with whom he had an election quarrel. Lady 
Sparkish is in orig., but is probably a slip for 
Lady Answerall. 



ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 1 97 

Page 82, 1. 23. " The Lord of the Lord knows 
what." — A peerage revived with slightly altered 
title by Peter Simple's shipmates in favour of 
" the Lord Nozoo." 

Page 103, 1. 4. " L^i. Smart." — Erratum for 
" Ld. Sparkish." 

Page 103, 1. 13. " Tantiny Pig."— The pig 
usually assigned as companion to St. Anthony. 

Page 105,1. 26. "Poles."— St. Paul's. 

Page 109, 1. 4. " Jommetry." — See Introduc- 
tion. 

Page i io, 1. 7. — I do not know the origin of 
Miss's catchword. Julia, the heroine of Dryden's 
" Amboyna," had used it beforehand. 

Page hi, 1. 25. " Tansy" has two senses, a 
plant and a sort of custard. The reader may 
choose which suits the circumstances best for 
metaphorical explanation. 

Page 112, 1. 11. " Otomy," for "anatomy," 
'' skeleton.'' 

Page 1 14, 1. i 7. " Ld. Smart " again for " Ld. 
Sparkish ; " at the foot of the next page for " Lady 
Smart." 

Page 117, last line. "Smoke," "look at;" 
later, " twig." 

Page 118, 1. 13. "Lady Sparkish," probably 
for " Lady Smart," as being hostess. 

Page 1 2 1 , last line. " Inkle." — Ribbon or tape. 

Page 129, 1. 8. Scott has borrowed this 
vigorous protest of Miss in one of his private 
letters. 

Page 131, 1. 7. " Ld. Sparkish" should evi- 
dently be " Ld. Smart." 

Page 135,1. 14. " Kept a Corner for a Venison 



198 ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES. 

Pasfy."— Which. Dr. Goldsmith remembered in 
immortal verse. 

Page 140, 1. 12. I do not know whether this 
speech was meant for Lord Sparkish or Lady 
Answerall. 

Page 143, 11. i, 3. An unnecessary double 
entry, but right in the attribution. 

Page 145, 1. 9. "In my Tip," "as I am 
drinking." 

Page 161, 1. 4. " Weify rostenj' should pro- 
bably be " iJrosten," i.e., " well-nigh burst." 

Page 162, 1. 9. Lord Smart might make this 
speech ; but from the answer it would seem to 
be his Lady's. 

Page 165, 1. 13. — I don't know whether Swift, 
who never forgot his feud with " Cousin Dry- 
den," was indulging in a half-gird at " The cor- 
ruption of a poet is the generation of a critic." 

Page 176, 1. 8. " Concealer P — A brilliant pun 
on " Counsellor." 

Page 181, 1. 24. "A Bone in my Leg.''' — This 
odd phrase for a peculiar cramp in the leg is 
not dead yet. 

Page 183, 1. 21. " Quare." — David Q., died 
in 1724. He had invented repeaters, and 
throughout the eighteenth century was what 
Tompion was later among watchmakers, what 
Joe Manton was long among gunmakers, a 
name to conjure with and to quote. 

Page 184, 1. 24. "Box it about; 'twill 
come to my Father." — The famous Jacobite cant- 
phrase for breeding disturbance in hopes of a 
fresh Revolution. 



CHISWICK press:— CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO., 
TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE. 



__ Cornell University Library 

PR 3724.P7 1892 



Polite conversation in three dialogues b 




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